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#15360 Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:25 AM
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Some might find this Synod's report interesting.

Report


John Chaney

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Thanks! That's a very good article. I also found this one on the Westminster Seminary California website. It quotes various Reformed Catechisms on the issues at stake:

http://www.wscal.edu/resources/Justification.htm


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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I'm still working my way through it. Sounds a lot like the NPP. What are the major differences? Just the way they arrive at their doctrine, or is there a real difference in the doctrines?


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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It was NPP that was being described. But, from what I have heard and read, there is dissent within the movement itself on various definitions, etc.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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Hmm. Maybe I better go back and check. The article I am reading is RCUS Report on Justification and the Current Controversy. It addresses the errors set forth by Norman Shepherd and states:

"The committe has interpreted the scope of the mandate to particularly include a study of the teachings of Norman Sheperd on justification by faith, and also to include a study of the teachings of the so-called NPP. At this stage in our work your committee presents our report and recommendations concerning Shepherd's teachings, believing the NPP warrants a separate treatment."

I'm more than halfway through and it hasn't touched on NPP except this statement in the beginning. Are we reading the same thing?


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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I've seen that article in lists of resources on the NPP. Perhaps we could say Shepher'd views are NPP before it was called NPP?


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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Kim,

If you want to learn more about the differences/similarity between Shepherd and NPP, please obtain CDs of Dr. Cornelius Venema from a recent conference in Calgary (ACRC 2003). Dr. Venema is very well-studied in both areas and has excellent critiques of both. The CD series (Tapes also) contain treatments of Justification, James 2, Covenant & Election, Critique of both Shepherd & N.T. Wright, and a sermon on Romans 5.
If interested, contact Margaret Hoppe via email. mh-2@shaw.ca

by God's grace,
Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
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Also, the link below provides articles on both Shepherd and NPP.
Shepherd_NPP

Carlos


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Thanks, Carlos. I will check it out.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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In reading through the RCUS report, I came across a name I have never seen before--Ursinus. I never came across his name in our study of the Reformation or in any reading in Reformed Doctrine. A google search really didn't give me a biographical sketch. I see that he wrote a Commentary on the Heidelberg Confession.

Who was Ursinus? What is his contribution to the Reformed faith?


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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Quote
gotribe said:

In reading through the RCUS report, I came across a name I have never seen before--Ursinus. I never came across his name in our study of the Reformation or in any reading in Reformed Doctrine. A google search really didn't give me a biographical sketch. I see that he wrote a Commentary on the Heidelberg Confession.

Who was Ursinus? What is his contribution to the Reformed faith?

Kim,

I have to admit I knew very little about this man except that he helped draft the Heidelberg Catechism along with Caspar Olevianus until I found these links. Amazingly these men were both in their late 20s when they drafted this wonderful document. I think you'll find these links helpful.

ZACHARIAS URSINUS 1534 - 1583

Caspar Olevianus & Zacharias Ursinus

What is Catechism?


I also found this information in a religious encyclopedia. Unfortunately I couldn't link you to this document directly because if was stored in a very large word perfect file.

Quote
URSINUS, ZACHARIAS: German Reformed; born at Breslau July 18, 1534; died at Neustadt-on Hardt (21 m. s.s.w. of Worms) Mar. 6, 1583. He received his first training in the Elisabethschule at Breslau, and was matriculated at Wit Educa- tenberg Apr. 30, 1550, where a munition and cipal allowance and some support by Early well-to-do patrons, including Johann Career. Krafft (q.v.), afforded him his means of subsistence. He studied here until 1557, and became closely associated with Melanchthon, the vindictive attacks to which the latter was exposed filling him with aversion for the quarrelsome disposition of many theologians. This antipathy was increased when, in Sept., 1557, just as he was beginning an extensive academic journey, he witnessed the shameful contentions between the Protestants present at the religious conference in Worms. From Worms Ursinus went, by way of Strasburg, Basel, and Lausanne, to Geneva, where Calvin received him kindly, and he then remained for some time in Paris to study Hebrew under Jean Mercier. On his return Ursinus visited Zurich, after which he returned to Wittenberg, where, in Sept., 1558, he received a call from the Breslau Council to teach in the Elisabethschule. Here he gave open expression to his theological convictions, which ranged him, as he had discerned on his journey, on Calvin's side in regard to the doctrine of the Lord's Supper; and being attacked as a " sacramentarian," he made a clear exposition of his tenets in his Theses complectentes . . . summam verge dodrince de socramen tis (Breslau, 1559). The work was prohibited in Breslau, and Ursinus was dismissed. Provided with traveling expenses by Krafft, he started for Zurich toward the end of June, 1560, by way of Wittenberg, Heidelberg, and Basel, reaching his destination Oct. 3.

In the following year, when Elector Friedrich III., the Pious (q.v.), was seeking to obtain a capable Reformed theologian for the directorship of the Heidelberg Collegium SaPientice, which had been transformed into a sort of theological seminary, Peter Martyr Vermigli (q.v.) recommended Ursinus, who, after considerable wavering, accepted the call, taking office Oct. 13, 1561. Here, besides the guidance of the institution, he had to supply the chair of dogmatics from Aug., 1562, to 1568; and in addition to all this he was obliged, beginning with 1563, to deliver a catechetical sermon every Sunday and to collaborate in preparing the new Palatine liturgy. His part in the drafting of the Heidelberg Catechism and his preliminary works for this purpose (the Summa theologise and the Catechismus minor) have already been indicated in HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, # 2. It was Ursinus who had to conduct the philosophic vindication of the Catechism At against the vehement attacks of Lu Heidelberg. theran theologians, this constraining him, much against his inclination, to engage in ever new theological feuds. It was Ursinus, in like manner, who was obliged to undertake the advocacy of the Palatinate party in connection with the embittered literary disputes at the Maulbronn colloquy (see MAULBRONN). In 1566, he sought to confute, in his Avgsburger Konfession . . . mit ihren eigenen Women in Fragstiick gestellt, and in his Articul, in denen die evangelischen Kirchen im Handel, des Abendmahls einig oder spanig sired, the assertion that the Palatines had fallen away from the Augsburg Confession, and were, therefore, to be excluded from the religious treaty of. peace. It was with reluctance that Ursinus had become a contestant in this dispute, and he longed for the time when he could retire from the arena. His official position alone claimed his powers beyond rightful bounds, and, owing to the frequent lack of an assistant, he was often compelled to take sole charge of the seventy pupils. In Feb., 1568, he was relieved of his dogmatic lectures by the call of Zanchi (q.v.), but the overpressure still continued, the result being impaired health and increasing melancholy. In Aug., 1571, he was called to a theological professorship at Lausanne, but could not accept because the elector would not release him. Before long there arose new heated contentions within the Palatinate church itself, and Ursinus, who took a very pessimistic view of the prevalent ecclesiastical and moral conditions in the Palatinate, deemed it absolutely necessary that a church discipline should be introduced there after the pattern of the one ruling in Calvinistic churches abroad. He boldly promulgated this conviction in his Monita Ursini, which he submitted to the elector May 26, 1568, but while Olevianus (q.v.) and Zanchi concurred with him, other influential men, especially Thomas Erastus (q.v.), spoke decidedly against the project. Within a short time Ursinus withdrew from the strife, hopeless of practical results from the inauguration of the church discipline under Palatinate conditions. Prompted, however, by the attitude of Pastor Adam Neuser of Heidelberg, and of Inspector Johann Silvanus of Ladenburg, who belonged to the most zealous opponents of the church discipline, and who not only combated the doctrine of the Trinity, but also sought alliance with the sultan of Turkey, Elector Friedrich nevertheless procured the introduction of the discipline, on July 13, 1570, and of the presbyteries. The report of the Heidelberg theologians, leading to the execution of Neusen Dec. 23, 1572, bears the signature of Ursinus, as well; and when, in 1573, Jakob Andrea (q.v.) rejected the Heidelberg theologians on the ground that their teaching led to Islam, they defended themselves in their Bekanntnuss . . . von dem einigen Gott in dreyen Personen, of which, no doubt, Ursinus was one of the chief authors.

After the death of Friedrich III., Ursinus had to leave Heidelberg. On Oct. 3, 1577, the Collegium Sapientice was dissolved, since none of the sixtythree pupils would accept the Lutheran Smaller Catechism; and a week later Ursinus was dismissed. He found a new sphere of labor, however, at Neustadt-on-Hardt, together with Daniel Toussain (q.v.), Zanchi, and others, in the Collegium Casimi- rianum, a school founded by Palsgrave The Johann Casimir, Friedrich's younger Closing son. He began his functions on May Years. 23, 1578, with lectures on Isaiah, and here, in 1581, he wrote his last fairly considerable work, De Libro Concordice Admonitio Christiana, which he later revised and expanded in German, the work being intended to vindicate the Reformed doctrinal concept at the signing of the Formula of Concord (q.v.). The bodily powers of Ursinus were already well-nigh completely broken when he entered upon his duties at Neustadt, and at the close of 1582 his sufferings reached an acute stage, which soon terminated his life. J. NEY. BIBLIOGRAPHY. M. Adam, Vita; Gernxanorum theotogorum, pp. 529-542, Heidelberg, 1620; K. Sudhoff, K. Otevianua and Z. Ursinus, Elberfeld, 1857; J. F. A. Gillet, Crato von Cratheim and seine Freunde, 2 vols., Frankfort, 1880; M. Gobel, Geschichte des christtichen Lebens in der rJceinisch westphalischen . . . Kirche, i. 393 aqq., Coblenz, 1862.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
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Wow! Thank you, Wes! It seems that Ursinus had a tumultuous career!

I'll bookmark the links and take a closer look.

Blessings,
Kim


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
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Ursinus, as explained below, is one of the principle authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. I pasted the site I got the info from.

http://www.reformed.org/documents/heidelberg_intro.html

Brief History
of the
Heidelberg Catechism


I. History. — Soon after the introduction of Protestantism into the Palatinate in 1546, the controversy between Lutherans and Calvinists broke out, and for years, especially under the elector Otto Heinrich (1556-59), it raged with great violence in Heidelberg. Frederick III, who came into power in 1559, adopted the Calvinistic view on the Lord's Supper, and favored that side with all his princely power. He reorganized the Sapienz College (founded by his predecessor) as a theological school, and put at its head (1562) Zacharias Ursinus, a pupil and friend of Melancthon, who had adopted the Reformed opinions. In order to put an end to religious disputes in his dominions, he determined to put forth a Catechism, or Confession of Faith, and laid the duty of preparing it upon Zacharias Ursinus (just named) and Caspar Olevianus, for a time professor in the University of Heidelberg, then court preacher to Frederick III. They made use, of course, of the existing catechetical literature, especially of the catechisms of Calvin and of John Lasco. Each prepared sketches or drafts, and "the final preparation was a the work of both theologians, with the constant co-operation of Frederick III. Ursinus has always been regarded as the principal author, as he was afterwards the chief defender and interpreter of the Catechism; still, it would appear that the nervous German style, the division into three parts (as distinguished from the five parts in the Catechism of Calvin and the previous draft of Ursinus), and the genial warmth and unction of the whole work, are chiefly due to Olevianus." (Schaff, in. Am. Presb. Rev. July 1863, p. 379).


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