Lesson 31B Preview: Correlated Readings: BBC – “The English Reformation”; John Gerstner Video Lecture “Romanism’s Counter-Rerformation Trent”; Father Michael Sheehan The Reformation

In this video we move to the continent for the Catholic Reformation, as Olson terms it. Protestant writers, as you know, often call it the Counter Reformation. Dr. John Gerstner returns with another excellent video lecture Romanism’s Counter Reformation: Trent. John H. Gerstner (1914-1996) was a Professor of Church History at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Knox Theological Seminary and an authority on the life and theology of Jonathan Edwards. Gerstner counted among his students R.C. Sproul, who you have seen in the bonus lesson following lesson 1B. Sproul is a highly visible evangelical Calvinist with several books to his credit. To see Dr. Gerstner’s lecture, please click on the lecture title above and you will go to the page where you will need to initiate the video player.

The Reformation and reaction to it from a Catholic Church perspective. Father Maurice Sheehan offers a brief catholic historian’s point of view in his lecture:

Quote for Your Consideration:“This was the hand that wrote it [his recantation], therefore it shall suffer first punishment.” (Thomas Cranmer at the bonfire as he was executed.)

Bible Verses for Reflection: Leviticus 20:21;

Questions for Discussion:

1. What does  Prof. Gerstner identify as the key considerations influencing Leo X’s decision to not move immediately against the emerging German reformation movement by calling a council?

2. We learn from Prof. Gerstner that the Council of Trent wrestled with the doctrine of justification by faith alone as they knew how fundamental this was to German reform efforts. An initial committee report was issued on the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification. How did the Council respond to this initial report?

3. A subsequent doctrinal formulation made reference to a “first justification”. What did this mean? How did mortal and venial sins become a factor in the justification doctrine they were defining? What was the “second plank” in the doctrine? What did Dr. Gerstner intend when he points out there was a “locus of difficulty” in their approach to justification? How was faith and works related in the final doctrinal formulation? How would you compare that to Luther’s doctrine of justification?

4. What for Dr. Gerstner is the significance of the year 1564?

5. What is your impression of Prof. Sheehan’s presentation? What did he say that revealed his Roman Catholic perspective?

For the Bonus Lesson click here.

Glossary of Names and Terms:

1. The Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent

2. Jansenism

3. Pasquier Quesnel

4. Thomas Cromwell   (should be distinguished from Oliver Cromwell)

5. Thomas Cranmer

6. Cardinal Thomas Woolsey

7. Anne of Cleves

8. Anne Boleyn

9. Catherine of Aragon

10. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

11. Probabilism

12. Alphonse Liguori / The Redemptorists

13. Early English Bible Translations

14. Pope Leo X

15. Pope Clement VII (1523–34)

16. Pope Paul III (1534-49)

17. Lady Jane Grey

18. Mary I, Queen of England and Ireland

19. Edward VII of England

20. Jane Seymour

21. Henry VIII

22. The Dissolution (aka “Suppression”) of the Monasteries


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