Theology Discussion Question: Church History

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Theology Discussion Question: Church History

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:14 pm

Reflect on what you have read about church history in Noll's Turning Points book. Of all the turning points you have read about so far, which do you think has the greatest impact on your life today? Write a paragraph explaining your choice.

Then, write a second paragraph answering the following question: How has reading this history of the church challenged your previously-held beliefs? Please be as specific as possible.

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Re: Theology Discussion Question: Church History

Post by matthewostermeyer on Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:01 am

I feel that reading about the introduction of Protestantism as the church split from Catholicism is one way that I feel greatly impacted today. I feel that I live in a world that highlights some of the negative aspects of this split even hundreds of years after the fact. Catholicism is still highly tied to politics and is highly ritualistic. Reading about the history of catholic doctrine was hard in some manners because it was easy to see how it created the Catholic Church system I see in the United States where so many people are legalistic and not many have a passion for their relationship with Jesus. I believe that much of this time led the way for a reemphasis on the important aspects of the gospel. I am also thankful for the return to the idea of responsibility in all's lives not just those called into priesthood. I believe this led the way towards a church that lives out the bible in the way that Jesus is truly asking them to.

I think a way that reading Noll's Turning Points book has challenged me is in regards to Martin Luther. I feel as though people have always painted him to be the greatest man in church history and that no one comes close to him. But reading the section over the creation of Protestantism showed me a lot of bad aspects of this break off. Though I believe reform needed to be had in the church it is very easy to see the division's across the church in today's world rooted in this turning point in history. I believe that division would have occurred at some point regardless due to earlier examples such as the East and the West Church or even different sects within Judaism. But it is easy to see the sin of division sprouting up as a response to this place in life. This doesn't fall on Martin Luther's shoulders of course but it is something to be aware of.

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Re: Theology Discussion Question: Church History

Post by Brittony on Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:39 pm

I definitely think that the protestant movement was one of the most impactful turning point in church history. As Martin Luther had called many peoples attention to scripture and calling out leaders in the Catholic Church and saying that he doesn’t’ trust the Pope or the counsels over the scriptures is how it should be but I would imagine incredibly controversial for his time. The Pope, as well as the people around him, were the ones who studied the scriptures all the time and so it would make sense for someone who couldn’t read to trust what the Pope would say. As Luther looked at the scriptures and read them with sincerity he could see that they spoke truth more often than man. As he clearly reformed the church by deciding to separate himself from the Catholic Church he founded Protestantism, which transformed the whole world and allowed many to come to know Jesus. I would say that this turning point has the greatest impact on my life today because out of this other reformers came out of the woodwork like John Wesley, founder of Methodism and in which the denomination I found Christ. If there wasn’t a Martin Luther then there probably wouldn’t have been a John Wesley. I think as Luther challenged the status quo on the church many others felt compelled to do the same. I think his example to openly question scripture is healthy and for me to do so is to come to a better understanding of scripture.

I think this chapter has challenged my beliefs slightly by Luther’s quote, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” Yes, we are free in Jesus we are free from those who oppress us, Luther would know first hand. I really love the image of freely serving those around you but knowing your works aren’t what define your salvation. They are a response to salvation but not what creates it. I see Luther’s servant’s heart in these sentences and want others to serve others and I think we should, dutifully just as he said but to know we do it out of the love Jesus has shown us. I understand he’s communicating a sense of humility as Christians. This reminds me that I need, time and time again, to put on a humble position in order to effectively serve others. I do; however, think it’s interesting to read that even Martin Luther didn’t live this incredibly perfect life as I had originally thought. He was “blunt” and “crude” and wouldn’t always practice what he writes. I think it’s a very good reminder, that integrity is important and to maintain it is essential. I view Luther differently than I did before reading this chapter but appreciate his efforts to reform a system that wasn’t entirely scriptural.

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