Reformation events in England and Scotland. Questions for Discussion: Lesson 31A – Chapter 27  “Rome & Canterbury Go Separate But Parallel Ways from The Story of Christian Theology by Roger Olson

1. The English Prayer Book, also known as the Book of Common Prayer, was an important document in the period we are studying. Why? Who developed it? What did it signify liturgically as reform efforts intensified?

2. One of your Sunday school students asks, ” I understand that during the 16th century the English Reformation and the Scottish Reformation had some similarities but many important differences in their reform efforts. Could you clear that up for us and also provide some insight into who John Knox was? I’ve heard this name whenever the Scottish Reformation is mentioned.” How will you respond?

3. We learn from Olson that the assessment of the Catholic church held by the Roman Catholic church leaders of the 16th century was one of disgust with “the conditions into which the church had fallen”. What were the areas of abuse and decline sorely needing change that the leadership identified in this period?

4. How did the Council of Trent heal the division between Protestants and Catholics? What was the special recognition accorded Luther? How specifically did the Council define justification and respond to the principle of sola gratia et fides? How was justification distinguished from sanctification?

5. Olson discusses “post-reformation ferment” that resulted in new denominations. Can you identify and describe three new denominations or movements Olson cites in this chapter as having resulted from “the ashes of the [sixteenth century] wars of religion”.

6. Thomas Cranmer is “regarded as the founder of English Protestantism” according to Olson.  If you were asked to teach a Sunday school class about Cranmer’s many accomplishments, which four would you consider most important? [Consider both his actions and his written words.]

7. A student in your class is puzzled by “Anglicanism” and how it differs from Lutheranism. He continues, “I’ve read that Richard Hooker was an important person in the English church. How did he understand theology and Reformation issues differently than Luther and the other magisterial reformers – or did he?”

8. Hooker offended Puritans with his views on medieval scholastic natural theology. What is this and why would the Puritans have found his views offensive? What were they? How was he influenced by Catholic soteriology?

Lesson 31B Correlated Readings

Simon Schama narrates the BBC series The British Reformation and Prof. Gerstner returns with a lecture on Romanism and the Catholic Counter-Reformation

Bible Verses for Reflection

Bonus Lesson   Prof. Wrightson (Yale) on The British Reformation; Paul Tillich on Justification by Faith


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