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Rick Bates
Rick Bates
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Joined: Dec 2001
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We could say there were several critical issues in the Reformation. However, if we had to pick one, what would it be? What was most discussed at the beginning, Calvin's time? (this will be difficult for some because of the phraseology of the question, sorry, but I have stated it just as I received it).

Critical Issue of the Reformation
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Votes accepted starting: Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:00 AM
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I would just like to add another vote concerning the most critical issue of today when it comes to the reformed faith.

My vote is for Unconditional Election. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

But I would add that "Justification by Grace Alone" is still pretty hard to truly understand and embrace for new believers.

Dave.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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Based on the wording of the question, my vote is for “Total Depravity”. Though the Reformation began with a controversy over indulgences (95 Theses) and man’s ability to buy his salvation..this led to the question...How is One Saved..? This question naturally led to the man’s spiritual condition and the related question of “free will”. Thus you have Erasmus writing “On Free Will” and Luther’s The Bondage of the Will”.

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You emphasized Calvin's time, so I took that as being the time limiting factor and the period one should focus their attention on. Thus, I voted for the Eucharist, although there were a number of other doctrinal issues being debated, e.g., "predestination"; cf. Calvin vs. Pighius in [i]The Eternal Predestination of God[/i].


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Joe,

One clarification, please? By "most discussed" are you thinking primarily within the Reformed community, or primarily between Reformers and Catholics, or both?

Paul S.


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Paul_S said:
Joe,

One clarification, please? By "most discussed" are you thinking primarily within the Reformed community, or primarily between Reformers and Catholics, or both?

Paul S.
Both, but the answer becomes clearer IMO if we stress "between Reformers and Catholics."


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I picked "Justification by Grace Alone" because it is the most important concept for my own edification and joy.

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"He who exposes and expels an error, does well; but it will only return in another form, unless the truth has been so lodged in the heart as to shut it out forever."

James Buchanan, reflecting upon the doctrine of Justification.

Denny

Roms 3:22-24


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I chose "Total Depravity" although I could have also selected "Justification by Grace Alone" because they are two facets of the same jewel. The reason I chose total depravity is that man can do nothing to buy his own salvation which was being taught by the Roman Catholic church and rejected by the Reformers. Luther taught that man was saved by faith apart from works. The doctrine of justification by faith alone was the key teaching that upset the papacy and got Luther thrown out.


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It should be noted that the Reformation was not initially intended to overthrow the Catholic Church, but rather, to reform it. Most see Luther and Zwingli as the first generation of Protestant Reformers and Calvin followed them (many forget about JOHN WYCLIF: The Morning Star of the Reformation). One of the central issues of the Reformation concerned the nature of sacraments as instruments of salvation and expressions of grace. In addition, among the “captivities” of the Eucharist cataloged by Luther in his treatise on the “Babylonian Captivity” were the withholding of bread from the laity. It is known that Luther and Zwingli disagreed about the sacraments. Calvin (who had extraordinary interest in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper) attempted to strike a somewhat middle path between Zwingli and Luther. Furthermore, for Calvin, the Eucharist is a key component of sanctification. All the Reformers attempted to make the Supper more frequent in the churches as sanctification remained a key issue. Moreover, the Table was seen as a table of unity. The Diet of Ratisbon in order to produce concord between the Catholics and Protestants, had as its main subject – the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the correct answer.


Reformed and Always Reforming,

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