Church History II - Lesson 5
The Sacraments and Baptism
This lesson covers the period from the late 16th century to the 17th century, focusing on the spread of the Reformation to other parts of Europe beyond Germany. It discusses the various factors that contributed to the success of the Reformation, including the printing press, the use of vernacular languages, and the support of secular rulers. The transcript also explores the different reform movements that emerged, such as the Calvinist and Anabaptist movements, and their impact on society and culture.
The Sacraments and Baptism
I. Introduction to the Sacraments
A. Definition and Terminology
B. Historical Development
C. Sacramental Theology
II. The Nature and Purpose of Baptism
A. Definition and Terminology
B. Historical Development
C. Sacramental Theology
III. The Practice of Baptism
A. Mode of Baptism
B. Candidates for Baptism
C. Administration of Baptism
IV. The Relationship between Baptism and Salvation
A. Views on the Relationship
B. Biblical Teaching on the Relationship
V. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
A. Definition and Terminology
B. Historical Development
C. Sacramental Theology
VI. The Nature and Purpose of the Lord's Supper
A. Definition and Terminology
B. Historical Development
C. Sacramental Theology
VII. The Practice of the Lord's Supper
A. Frequency and Time of Administration
B. Administration and Participation
VIII. The Relationship between the Lord's Supper and Salvation
A. Views on the Relationship
B. Biblical Teaching on the Relationship
- You'll uncover the historical context, key figures, and theological developments of the Reformation, along with its lasting impact on church, society, and modern Christianity.
- The crusades, and John Wycliffe's challenge of the church’s authority happened before the Reformation.
This lesson covers the Renaissance period and the life and beliefs of Martin Luther.
- This lesson provides a comprehensive understanding of the history of the Protestant Reformation and the theology of Martin Luther. You will gain knowledge of Luther's theological beliefs, including justification by faith alone, as well as the major events of the Reformation and the influence of the printing press on spreading Protestant ideas.
- This lesson explores the success of the Reformation in spreading to other parts of Europe beyond Germany in the late 16th to 17th centuries. It discusses the factors that contributed to this success, including the printing press, vernacular languages, and secular ruler support. Additionally, the transcript examines the impact of different reform movements on society and culture, such as the Calvinist and Anabaptist movements.
- You will gain insight into the spread of the Reformation across Europe and beyond, covering its origins, impact in Germany, expansion into Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, and the Catholic response through the Council of Trent and establishment of the Jesuits.
- By exploring this lesson, you will gain insights into the historical relationship between the Church and State, from early Christianity to modern times. You will also gain an understanding of the specific relationship between the Church and State in America, particularly with regard to the First Amendment. Additionally, you will learn about current debates around the separation of Church and State and how the Church should engage with political power.
- In this lesson, you will learn about how the English Reformation was initiated by King Henry VIII's desire to annul his marriage, leading to the breakaway from the Roman Catholic Church and the establishment of the Church of England, which went back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism until Queen Elizabeth I established it as a Protestant church.
- In this lesson, you will learn about the life and reign of King Henry VIII and the key events and people that shaped the English Reformation, including his opposition to the Protestant Reformation, his desire for a male heir, and his establishment of the Church of England, which had far-reaching consequences for England and the Church as a whole.
- In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of King Henry VIII's reign, including his relationships with his wives, his role as head of the English church, and his impact on the Reformation in England, as well as the political and religious agendas he pursued during his final years, and his legacy and impact on the Anglican Church.
- The English Reformation, which took place during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, was a significant period in English history that resulted in the establishment of the Church of England and the break from the Roman Catholic Church. This class lecture explores the political, social, and religious factors that contributed to the English Reformation, as well as the theological developments that occurred during this period. It also examines the wider impact of the English Reformation on the Reformation movement in Europe and the subsequent development of Protestantism in England.
- Gain insight into the intricate history of 16th-century Catholicism and British Protestantism, exploring key events, figures, and their impact on the religious landscape.
- Explore the 16th-century Reformation in Europe and Britain, analyzing key figures, theological disputes, and the impact on religious landscape.
- Gain an in-depth understanding of the Reformation in the Lowlands, its historical context, key figures, movements, and its impact on religious and political landscapes.
- In this lesson, you gain a deep understanding of the Reformation in Great Britain under Elizabeth I, focusing on key figures, religious struggles, and the lasting impact on modern-day Britain.
- Explore the intricate history of the Protestant Church in England under Elizabeth I, delving into key figures, events, and theological shifts that shaped its religious landscape.
- In this lesson, you explore the development of the Protestant Church in England under King James, gaining insight into its history, key figures, and the influence of theological movements on its growth.
- By studying this lesson, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Protestant Church in England under Cromwell, its theological developments, and the lasting impact of this period on the church's history.
- Gain deep insights into the late 17th-century Protestant Church in England, its key events, influential religious groups, and major figures, as you explore the complex interplay of religious, political, and social forces shaping its development.
- By analyzing the Age of Reason's influence on Church History, you gain knowledge of the interplay between faith, reason, and scientific inquiry that reshaped religious beliefs and institutions during this pivotal era.
- Gain a thorough grasp of church history from 1500-2000, exploring key events, figures, and theological developments that have shaped Christianity's growth and evolution.
The life and thought of the Christian church from the Reformation to modern times. Designed as an orientation to the shape of the whole tradition with special focus on the history of Christian doctrine and spirituality.
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Let's pray together, shall we? And we can begin the thank you for all the many things that you give us. And Lord bless as we pray now, as we work and as we stand together. Help us to learn the things which you set before us and to grow closer to you and all that we can. Her Jesus precious name said, We ask it. Right. Well, last time when I left you, I think I remember we left Lutheran in prison, didn't. We're not in prison, but in exile. In the book, in his little car. And I was telling you about the different things that he did while he was there, that he translated the Bible, for example, into German, which is a very important and long term thing. And how he also was able to develop his theological ideas much better than he might otherwise have done. Now, while Luther was out of commission or out of action or whatever you want to call it, things of course, were moving in the outside world and they were not moving in a way which was altogether pleasant from Luther's point of view. One of the things which happened regularly in the Middle Ages whenever there was upset in the church was that this upset would be accompanied by widespread peasant revolt. This was a phenomenon which is can be understood mainly if you think about the church's social role. What we call the state today basically didn't exist at grassroots level. That is to say if you went into a village somewhere, there wouldn't be a post office. There wouldn't be a police station or a fire station or even a sort of tech station or anything like that.
There would be nothing except the church. The church would be the only thing that would link the village with the outside world. Now, when you think that the population was at least 80% rural or at least possibly higher, depending on where you go and so on. This gave the church, of course, enormous importance in the eyes of the average person. And so if things started to affect the church, this is often the way that people at the village level would perceive that something was going on in the wider world. And in particular, if it appeared that people who were lower down the scale in the in the church and of course a monk as Luther was, was not terribly high on the pecking order of the church, even though he was a university professor, that would probably put him even or even lower in the eyes of some people. But well, things haven't changed much, have they? But, you know, as far as the church was concerned, not you know, not he wasn't a bishop or a cardinal or the pope or anything like that. So he was sort of a voice from below, you know, calling for revolt. And this people followed this. And the priest in the village sort of found out about this and may have followed Luther, have been interested in him. This would call this would provoke social unrest, because, of course, if the priests could do this, if the monks could do this, why couldn't the peasants do the same? You know, they could rebel against their lords and masters as well, because the whole society, you must remember, was structured in this kind of way. I mean, there was a small aristocracy on top and then the vast peasant population, which was kept in varying degrees of servitude.
This had been one of the big problems with Wickliffe. You see, when Wickliffe went out to preach the gospel in the in the streets, he didn't realize that the peasants would take this as a call for revolt. And of course, there was a famous peasants revolt in England in 1381, directly connected with Wickliffe. Do be careful, by the way, if you're writing about this, there's a famous sort of how the people write peasants instead of peasants, you know. Be so careful about this. Well, yes. I mean, the famous phrase, you know, the peasants marched on London demanding to be treated like people. You know, in this day and age, it probably might happen to be so careful. Anyhow, the peasants revolt in 1381, you see, which set the tone really for what was what happened subsequently in Bohemia had a similar problem to deal with when when he began to preach church reform, it was the peasants who followed him most readily because they saw it as part of a wider movement of reform which would liberate them from the kind of servitude which to which they were. Bound on the land. And of course, when Luther raised the standard of revolt, the same thing happened again. Now, what had happened previously and indeed what had become almost standard by the time Luther was raising the standard of revolt, was that the secular rulers, the aristocracy and so on, would side with the church to put down these rebellions because rebellion was not in the interests of the ruling class for whatever reason. And this was, of course, a great danger for Luther, because if Luther could be presented as a social revolutionary, as somebody who was going to overthrow the secular order as well as the church order, then of course his the support which he had received among the princes would have vanished overnight, and that would have been the end of him, even though he would not have been able to survive because there was nobody who would support him.
And so Luther sided when he had to with the princes against the peasants and demanded that the peasants go back to work and obey their puppet masters. And that basically saved his reformation. In 15, 25, 15, 26, as I say, had he not done that, there wouldn't have been much future for him. Now, Luther has been very severely criticized for this, of course, in the 20th century. But as with all of these things, we have to be very careful about the way that we evaluate this sort of problem. Of course, in the 20th century, we don't believe in oppressing peasants anymore. You know, we have a slightly different attitude towards this kind of thing, a more democratic approach generally. And so to us, it sounds terrible. You see that Luther would sort of side with the princes against the peasantry when all the peasantry were demanding, you know, was a 70 hour work week instead of a 95 hour work week or something like this. You know, to our way of thinking. The peasants were on the side of the angels, but this was not the way people thought generally in the 16th century. And although, as I say, our sympathies might be a little different from those that were common in the 16th century, we have to try to see it in its context. And just as, for example, the early Christians, people like the Apostle Paul didn't run around trying to abolish slavery, which again, sounds odd to us. So Luther was not really out to change the social structures of the world in which he lived. I mean, he was primarily concerned with a spiritual message. And when he felt that this spiritual message was getting corrupted by politics in this particular way, when it was being hijacked, in a sense by a social revolution, he turned against it.
And so that is the what happened there. But there is no doubt, whatever you think about the peasants revolt that had Luther not done this, he would have been crushed because the forces which supported him would have deserted him immediately. They would not have allowed that kind of thing to continue for very long. And so that was an episode in Luther's career rather than the end of it for that particular reason. Another thing that was going on during these years was that it began to look as if the papacy might actually collapse. This was rather odd, but the pope, who had been on his throne when Luther raised the standard of revolt in the first place in 1517, a man by the name of Leo the 10th died at the end of 1521, only a few months after excommunicating Luther and his successor, who was a man called Hadrian or Adrian. The sixth was a Dutchman. Actually, Adrian the sixth is known to history as the last non-Italian pope until the present one. So John Paul the second, that's his basically one claim to fame. He didn't last very long. He died within a year and a half or so of his election. And in 1523, a new pope by the name of Clement, the seventh became became pope in that bishop of Rome at that time. And Clement, the seventh was on the throne long enough. To be able to make some kind of impression. I think he lasted until 1534. So around that time anyway, quite a long time. And this was rather a disaster because Clement, the seventh, was more of a politician than any kind of spiritual leader. And he believed that the best way forward was to play one secular ruler off against another.
And he tried to form an alliance with the king of France in order to lessen the power of Charles the Fifth, the emperor. He was afraid of being taken over by Charles, and that Charles would use him, would say, well, you know, I'll fight Luther if you do what I say. And that wasn't Clement's way of thinking particularly. He wanted to have freedom of maneuver. And so he maneuvered himself into the camp of the king of France. But when Charles realized that that was happening, he turned on the pope. And in 1527, he allowed his troops to occupy and to sack the city of Rome. And the emperor made the pope his prisoner. Now, this was, of course, an entirely new turn of events because the papacy was, in effect, put out of commission just at the time when Luther was beginning to expand his original reformation. And this is to say, was lucky for Luther in a way, because had the papacy been more together at the time, it is possible that it might have been able to organize enough opposition to Luther to defeat the Protestant people of Northern Germany before they got together properly. But as it turned out, as I say, the papacy was weakened at this very important juncture. And we will come back and see this again as in the future, because it's a very important development, the weakening of the papacy at this particular point. And in this particular way, it was going to matter for places other than just simply Germany. However, we leave that aside for now. Another person who comes into view at this point is a man whom we normally nowadays call all singly. I always think that seeing this man claim to fame is that he must have been the last name in the telephone book, but it's sometimes given as Huldrych Huldrych was the old German form of oral.
You know, I don't know where they get these names from. It's ridiculous, isn't it? Imagine being called Zwingli, but it's said that the French have a terrible problem with this because they turned singly into Strangler and tried to say Strangler all the time. You know, it's very difficult, very difficult, much better just to forget all about him. But anyhow, Zwingli was raising his own revolt against Rome, more or less at the same time as Luther, but in a completely different way. And this is what I want to look at for a little bit this morning. This afternoon that it Zwingli was in the city of Zurich in Switzerland. So this it actually has an impact on it. But we don't mind if you read that off in English. And Zurich was a semi-independent city in what is now Switzerland, part of the Swiss Confederation, which was officially part of the Holy Roman Empire and therefore officially under the rule of Charles the Fifth. But it had enjoyed a large degree of semi independence for quite a long time. And so the church was relatively weak there because of the sort of free spirit in the mountains and all this kind of thing. And also it was possible because of the structure of the of the city state organization, for something to go on in one place like Zurich and not be particularly noticed in most other places for quite some time. But anyway, it seemed they had come to his own theological position independently of Luther, but of. When Luther began to cause trouble in Northern Germany, this was an opportunity for me to do much the same kind of thing in Switzerland. And within a few years, Zwingli had managed to overturn the Catholic Church in Zurich to establish a reformed system of church government in the city and to begin to spread his version of the Reformation to the other cities of Switzerland at that particular time.
Now, the fact that Zwingli was not a follower of Luther, but an independent voice is of great significance for the future development of the Reformation. Luther's big thing, as we know, had been justification by faith and everything that Luther said did, and everything else really sprang from that particular idea. His whole appreciation of the gospel of the Church of everything else, sort of was focused around that particular notion. Zwingli, on the other hand, was much more sacramental in his approach. I mean, his objections to traditional Roman Catholic teaching are much more focused on the sacraments than they are on things like justification. Now, of course, you can't separate these things. I you know, it would be wrong to say that Luther had no particular doctrine of the sacraments or that he didn't object to some of the Roman teaching on the subject and so on. He did. And he did have different views about baptism, about Holy Communion and so on from the ones which were current in Rome. But relatively speaking, and this is where, you know, I want to try and get your mind around this idea, relatively speaking. Arguments over the sacraments were less important for Luther than they were for Zwingli and for the church in Zurich. And this was noticed at the time when the thing liens first appeared in England, for example. They were not called simians because no sober person could say killing them. So they were called sacramental and instead because that was what people noticed. You see, I don't want to be using I'm prejudiced against Zwingli. It's just that I have to talk about him. And it's difficult, especially after lunch. You know, if I had a speech do, in fact, it would be easier.
But still, this. This is the way they were perceived. You see at the time. And that is what matters for us. Now, what we need to try to understand here is what exactly scene me and Luther, in his own little way objected to in Catholic teaching. And for this, we need to go back and have a look at what the sacraments were. There were seven sacraments in medieval Catholicism. The number had been established by a man called Peter Lombard Lombardi, who died in the year 1160 and therefore must have written sometime before that. So in the middle of the 12th century, Lombard's theological textbook remained the standard textbook for theology up to and even after the Reformation. Calvin's institutes more or less replaced it in at least in Protestant circles. So he was influential for a very long time. I don't have to tell you, of course, that he was Bishop of Paris. And yet another reason why Paris was the theological center of Europe through most of the Middle Ages, because it had produced the leading authority on theology. Now, the great thing about Peter Lombard and what made everybody like him so much is that he his book, it's actually called The Sentences, but it might as well be called Theology for Dummies, because that's basically what it is. It's a series of questions and answers. And some of the questions are, of course, extremely famous. Like, did Adam have a navel? Was one of them, which may strike you as well. It may strike you as a rather odd question, but when you stop to think of. Of course, it's the whole issue of creation versus evolution, which is contained in that statement. And a lot more fun to talk about the creation and inclusion.
You know, it's sort of an abstract kind of thing. I mean, do that and have a navel. I mean, everyone can get into that, can't they? See it? You see what I mean? I mean, you have this sort of teaching technique. It's memorable. Is this book still in print? People get this. Well, actually, it's never been translated into English. It's still in Britain. Yes, it's still in Latin. Yes, it is. It's still in print. In Latin. I've got a copy, you know, not that I read it every other minute, but I do, in fact, have a copy. Yes. Well, yeah. Did Adam have a navel? One question. Another one other famous one is how many angels can stand on the head of a pin, which again sounds odd when you think about it, but if you stop to think, it's the whole question of the relationship between the spiritual and the material, because angels are spiritual beings and therefore, you know, how much space do they take up? Is really what is being talked about there. And can they walk through walls and all that kind of thing. So the questions are more sensible than they appear on the surface. But because he had this wonderful technique of teaching in this way, of course, Lombard, the Lombard became extremely popular and generations of theological students learned their stuff from him, including Luther, including Calvin. I mean, that's what they read. You know, Calvin didn't obviously read his own institutes when he was a theological student, but that's what he read instead. More interesting, you might think, anyhow. Never mind. Well, more fun anyway. So you see, this is this is this is Peter Lombard and his way of carrying on. Anyhow, it was Lombard who said, How many sacraments are there and said there are seven.
And he listed them out. And after ever after, it was assumed that there were seven sacraments, even though the church did not officially proclaim them as such until 1439, which was well, nearly 300 years after Lombard, after the Lombard was writing. So it took a long time for it to become official, but it didn't really matter because by that time everybody believed it anyway. Now, what were these seven sacraments? All right. Can anybody tell me what they were? Who can Who can tell me what the seven sacraments are? There's baptism. This baptism? Yes, I can. Confirmation? Yes. Wait a minute. The Communion? Yes. Merry matrimony? Yes. Orders. Orders. Yes. In penance? Yes. Okay, good. Aren't we doing well? And extreme unction. Very good. Oh, well, happens. It all comes out sooner or later, doesn't it, Anyhow? Very good. Now, having done that, the Lombard subdivided these seven sacraments into five and two. Which two did he regard as being in a special category and why? No, no, that's your Presbyterian isn't coming out now. No, that's the wrong that's the obvious answer. But it's wrong. I wouldn't ask if if that were the answer. No, not baptism and communion. There are two of these, which, as far as the Lombard was concerned, are in a category of their own. But I want to see which two are they and why are they in a special category? Yeah. And now. Only now are they not the same thing now, anyway. No, no, no, no. The matrimony and matrimony and order is very good. Why? Can you see above? No, exactly. You see, there are seven sacraments. Why does that on board say there are seven sacraments? Because seven is the perfect number, you see. So you have to come up with seven sacraments.
That's the reason underlying. But life is not perfect. And so in this life, you cannot have all seven. You can only have six of the seven. And if you look down the list, everybody has to have baptism. Everybody has to have confirmation. Everybody has to receive communion. But matrimony is optional. Orders are optional. Penance is necessary because everybody sins. And extreme unction is necessary because everybody dies. So the five which apply to every Christian, regardless of who they are. And the other two are a matter of choice. And of course, you can't. You can't. You cannot have both according to Medieval way of thinking. So you either you marry or you enter the church and you are ordained, but not both at the same time. So that was the five two division. You see, whichever all these people grew up with. Now, Luther, of course, broke that down by getting married and by insisting that priests should be allowed to marry. You see, so that was breaking down this kind of this medieval division. Of these seven sacraments, the one which was most important because it was most frequently celebrated and formed the center of the church's worship is, of course, the Holy Communion, called by different names. In theological texts, it's usually called the Eucharist because from the Greek word for Thanksgiving, it is the service of Thanksgiving. Popularly, of course, it was known as the mass. But mass is a corrupt form of the Latin word Missa and Missa is. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't have any theological meaning whatsoever. It was just the last three words of the of the service. After everything was over, the priest turned to the people and he said etre missa est and other missa est, and it was understood ecclesia, although he didn't actually say ecclesia.
It just means go. The church is dismissed, you say. Or in other words, get out of here. And from this you say the last words that were heard. People took Missa. They heard this Missa in Latin, and that's what the name that they gave to the into the service. Yes. So in calling that book The Youth and the Catholic Church, the myth, right. Like the book of you that you're basically. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's and it doesn't have any theological significance whatsoever. That's really what I'm trying to say. It is a word which has been taken up from the actual service. You know, at the, at the it was the final words that the dismissal it's related to the English word dismissal. That's. That's all it is. All right. So that needs to be borne in mind, because when we talk about the mass today, of course, in normal English usage, it conveys a very strong flavor of transubstantiation, Catholic theology and so on. But that is the way it has come to be used. That's not what it originally means. So when that was adopted, adopted by peasants who wouldn't have known? Yeah, of course. Yeah, they got picked out of it. Right. That's what I heard somewhere. That's where the word hocus pocus. Yes. Hocus pocus. Ma'am, this is my body. Right. Because the priest was doing some kind of magic up there. Yeah. Magic words they couldn't understand. Yeah, that's right. Was some kind of hope. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. Yeah. So they took it like that. And so because they didn't understand what was actually being said, they just sort of took it over. And when you don't understand, you know, you do this kind of thing. Yeah. The magic of it.
Oh, yes, of course. Yes. The word has come to mean the service, but. But that is a development, you see. That's a word application of the word. It's not what it originally means. So all I'm trying to point out is that any meaning which has been given to it now has been given to it independently of its origin. You see, that's all I'm pointing out. Whereas the other words that we use like Lord's Supper, you know, it's a biblical term. Holy Communion is a biblical term in a way. You know, the Eucharist, even that you could argue, was a biblical term and give thanks, you know, for what we receive and so on. These are all justifiable terms, you know, theologically, whereas mass is just a popular corruption of a word that means something quite different. All right. So just to be aware of this, when you come across this kind of discussion, but of course, what message and the reason why the mass, if you like, was so central for most people is the what was held to go on during the course of the service, which is the consecration of the holy elements of the bread and the wine, which were transformed into the body and blood of Christ by a process which we call transubstantiation. Now you have to understand what this means. And the only way you can understand this is by thinking about the philosophy or the physics, rather than the sort of physics of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, because it was Aristotle. Who believed that everything which exists could be subdivided into substance and accidents. Substance with ANC on the end, accidents as in wreck, you know, car accidents, that sort of thing. What's the difference? Well, the substance is the underlying reality of the thing.
In other words, we look around the room and there are about 30, 35 human beings in this room. How do we identify each other as human beings? What is our common humanity? This is very hard to say, but we know that it's there. We sense that we belong to one species, and that would be this our substance. However, the things which distinguish us as individuals are the accidents. In other words, height, weight, sex, hair color, skin color, all this kind of thing. Eye color. This is basically accidental. What Aristotle meant by this is you could change those things without ceasing to be human. Now, of course, if you take this and apply it to bread, you have something similar. You see, bread can be different, size, different shape, different weight, different taste, different color. All these things are accidental. They don't change the substance, which is bread. Changing accidents is a normal, everyday human activity. All you have to do is cut a piece of bread in half and you change the accidents. See, that's. That's easy. Changing the substance, on the other hand. Is virtually impossible. Well, it is impossible in the normal course of human events, at least, it was impossible for Aristotle to do it. You know, his chemistry was less advanced than our way of thinking today. So. What happens in the miracle of the altar as it came to be known, is that the priest takes a piece of bread and he takes a couple of wine and he says the magic words over the bread and the wine, and that what was bread is now the body of Christ. The substance has been changed. It is not bread anymore. However, another part of the miracle is that the accidents remain the same.
In other words, if you look at it, it's the same thing. If you taste it, it's the same thing. It hasn't changed color, shape, weight, size or anything else. It still looks, feels and tastes like bread, but its underlying in a substance has altered and it is now the body of Christ. Ditto for the wine, of course, that has changed into the blood of Christ by a similar process. That is what transubstantiation means and a sea change of substance. But not change of accidents. Now, this theory was put forward for the first time in the ninth century by a man called Pesquisas Rab Betters, and it was made official Catholic theology in the year 1215. At the fourth Lateran Council, the Lateran is a palace in Rome where the popes used to live, I mean, before they moved to the Vatican. So in the latter and council in the year 1215, this doctrine, which had originally been elaborated, as I say, in the ninth century, so about 350 years or so before the council was declared to be official church teaching. Now, as long as you accepted Aristotelian physics, this was okay. But. Aristotle in the course of the 16th century, was proved to be wrong about all kinds of things. And indeed, a lot of what went on in the 16th century can only properly be understood in terms of the development of modern science away from the teaching of the ancient Greeks. Because the era of Luther is also the era of Copernicus, one must never forget. You see people like that. A little bit later on, Galileo came along and you know that Galileo was condemned by the Roman church. Not what he was condemned for heresy. But his heresy was not denial of scripture.
It was denial of Aristotle. And because he denied Aristotle, he could not accept transubstantiation because he said transubstantiation just simply does not make sense. If you have a post Aristotelian, if you have a modern scientific world view, you we just don't think like this in terms of substance and accidents anymore. And so change your way of thinking. And a doctrine like transubstantiation no longer means anything. You say it's not a case of whether you you like it or not. It just doesn't make sense anymore. It cannot be expressed in modern scientific terminology. Doesn't work. And Galileo was aware of this, and as a result, he was condemned for heresy because he objected to that. Galileo, of course, also believed other crazy things like that. The Earth moves and so on. And while the church didn't really like that, that wasn't actually why he was condemned. Most people think it was. I think he was condemned for believing that the earth moved moves. But that's not true. He was condemned for his Eucharistic doctrine. So now that he's been exonerated, I guess, by the current pope, Yeah, we vote in that communication, right? Right. Or hell, I'm not quite sure which, but I think it would have to be from Purgatory because I don't think even the Pope can let somebody out of hell. Right. So it's been a long, long time in prayer, right? Oh, well, no, not really. Only a few hundred years. I mean, I've got a million years off. But I told you that the other day. I mean, come on. Well, it may seem like a long time. Yeah. Now, what are they saying? If that's what they condemned him on? They still think this? Yes. Oh, yes, yes. Well, you see.
Aha. Well, you see modern Catholicism, though. Modern Catholicism has abandoned the Aristotelian worldview, of course. You saying they don't accept that anymore? They can't. I mean, it's not just not possible to do this any longer, but they have reinterpreted transubstantiation into something else, which is sometimes called in theological language, trans finalization as a word which is sometimes used nowadays. And this means that the bread and the wine are not to be regarded as ordinary bread and wine, because the purpose for which they are being used has altered. They are not being used simply to feed people physically anymore. They are now being used to feed people spiritually. Again, it is a fantasy, you know, it has to be admitted. I think I mean, this is not a very good way of explaining the thing, but as long as you are focused on the elements, as long as you are focused on a change in a piece of bread and a change in wine, what are you going to do? Because there is no change in the bread or the wine, you know, I mean, no sort of neutral observer would have would suggest that there was. And so it is really an indefensible doctrine, you know, on its own premises. So they're fighting it. They're playing around fighting for some way of trying to explain this. When I was a Catholic, we would actually station somebody and make sure that people consume the. Yes, because to me, the most horrible thing to walk off with a piece of Jesus flesh. Right. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, it's astonishing, you know. I mean, my favorite is once when I saw somebody that was high Anglican, actually not Roman Catholic, but still a bit of the wine on the floor, and they got down and licked that with their tongue, you know, And I thought, Oh, that was great.
I was all for spilling the whole lot. But anyway, it's going to be that like that, you know. But anyway, that's a rather irreverent approach to this kind of thing. But, you know, this is this is the doctrine anyhow, you see, which, as I say, was handed down as traditional Catholic teaching. Now, in fact, the danger of spilling the cup and this was obviously a problem, as you can imagine, and it was one of the factors hygiene was the other in the withdrawal of the cup from the laity, because during the later and Middle Ages you see the idea of communion and one kind. We looked at this and talked about posts and so on, grew up because the theory was that if you had the body, you got the blood in the body. You know, most people's bodies have blood in it. And so you didn't really need to have the cup as well. That was a kind of added extra and the priest would keep that for himself, you know, And that's what happened. Usually the priest would sort of drink the cup, you know, in his own for himself. And, you know, the laypeople would would just be content with the bread. But it's quite true. You see the whole sort of Eucharistic thing you see was was done this. Now how much of this communicated to itself, to the average person is very high. To say, you know, I mean, all I can do is tell you a story. It happened to me when I first time I was celebrating communion in church. And I had not I didn't do all the sort of elaborate things you see and what have you. And afterwards, three little old ladies came up to the congregation and said, You didn't do that.
The elevation, you say the moment of consecration. I said, no. I said, Does it bother you? You know that mean a lot to you? Oh, yes. It's very important that you should do that. And I said, Well, you know, what is that, of course, is in Catholic theology just exposing the body and the blood beauty of Christ. I said, well, what what what does it mean to you? And I said, Well, it's when you do that that we go out and put the kettle on for tea and now you'll have to wait. So that was communicated to them. The meaning of this. However, you know, it's a reminder that you know, what goes on in church and what's understood, what the what the clergy do and what the people think they're doing is not always the same thing. But anyhow, Luther. Objected to transubstantiation on what you might call intellectual grounds. I mean, he could not accept the Aristotelian metaphysics either, but fundamentally, Luther did not object to what you might call traditional Catholic piety. And therefore, Luther's doctrine of the of the communion of the Eucharist is a kind of halfway house in a way between Catholicism and Protestantism. Because while he rejected transubstantiation, he did not believe that there was a change in the bread or a change in the wine. He believed that when the priest consecrated the bread and the wine, the Holy Spirit came down into them. Into the elements and associated himself with them without actually changing them so that a person who takes the bread, a person who drinks the wine, is drinking something which is spiritual, or eating something which is spiritual as well as physical. You see, the two things are side by side. Now, this doctrine is what we today call calm substantiation.
Luther himself did not, as far as I know, ever use this word that he never used the word to describe it. But that is the way we describe it today. Now, the key thing from the later Protestant point of view is that Luther was still element centered in a Lutheran way of thinking. It would have been at least theoretically possible. To take the consecrated bread and wine, put it under lock and key and take it out. A few days later, you know, and use it because it was already consecrated. The reserved sacrament in Lutheran theology is is a real possibility. You see, because of this element centered way of thinking that you've done something, you know, to the bread and the wine. Now, it was this, of course, that Zwingli totally rejected. As far as saying they was concerned, there was no change in the bread and no change in the wine whatsoever. This was all fantasy. So then the question arises as well What is the importance of Holy Communion? What is going on here? If there's no change in the bread and no change in the wine, what are we doing? And of course, Zwingli comes up with the notion that what we are doing is we are remembering the Lord's Death. The service of Holy Communion is a service of remembrance. Not a reenactment. Of Christ's suffering and death. You are not doing anything to change bread and wine to bring the sacrifice into the present. But you are remembering something which happened in the past. And by taking the bread and the wine, you are committing yourself to to following Christ and to making His sacrifice a reality in your life. In other words, the focus, the spiritual focus, shifts from the elements.
To the recipient. Because if you receive within the right spirit and in the right way, if you partake by faith, then it means something. You know, you are committing yourself to Christ and that is a meaningful act. If you do not have faith, then basically nothing happens. It is a waste of time. You know, you can take as much consecrated bread or wine as you like, but it's not going to make any difference because you have no faith, you have no commitment and no understanding of what Christ did for you on the cross. See, that is the basic difference and strongly preached this doctrine of communion. Now, inevitably, this was going to lead to a radical restructuring of the whole sacramental picture. Luther gradually and slowly began to drop some of the sacraments because he realized that they were not in the New Testament or they represented a misunderstanding of the New Testament. Extreme unction, for example, is mentioned in James, you know where the elders are to get together and anoint the sick. But the anointing of the sick was meant for healing, not for death. You know, of course you can see the confusion because until the invention of modern medicine, a visit from the doctor was more likely to lead to death than it was to healing. And so, you know, this this confusion is understandable. But nevertheless, you see, it goes against what the scriptures actually teach. And before Long, Luther reduced the number of sacraments to three, he had baptism, communion and penance because he regarded repentance, penance of repentance as a biblical teaching, you see. And so he kept penance, at least for a while. And it was only later that he was persuaded to drop that as well and just have baptism and Holy Communion.
But as far as tingling was concerned. The move from 7 to 2 and the two being baptism and communion now, not matrimony and holy orders was rapid and swift, because once you go, once you go away from the idea that something is being changed, that some kind of grace is being given in the actual sacrament itself. And once you justify your sacramental practice on the basis of faith and preaching the gospel and things like that, of course, the question you are going to ask is, does this particular activity reflect the preaching of the gospel? The gospel is going to become the touchstone, the criterion for deciding what is and what is not a sacrament. Now, this was going to cause endless confusion for a long period of time because, of course, some of the sacraments, matrimony and orders being too in case of. Two important facts here that were recognized ordinances and regarded as holy things in themselves, you see, as sort of sacred things done in the church. But they were no longer seen as sacraments because they did not reflect the gospel, the preaching of the gospel in any particular way. And there was nothing, at least in much of the case of matrimony, nothing specifically Christian about it. I mean, marriage existed before Christianity outside of Christianity. Why is it particularly Christian? Christians, of course, want Christian matrimony. Yes, but matrimony as a thing in itself can hardly be said to reflect the gospel particularly. You know, I mean, it's not as if a non-Christian would never practice this, whereas baptism and Holy Communion are specific to the church. You know, in a way that would make them virtually meaningless in any other context. I mean, they have only their meaning. Their meaning is derived entirely from the the preaching and teaching of the gospel.
Now, as far as as I say, as far as communion was concerned, Zwingli managed to decentralize it in a sense by taking away the sort of transubstantiation idea and putting the emphasis on faith when it came to baptism. However, there were problems. You might well argue that logically Zwingli should have done the same thing with baptism, that he should have said, Well, baptism is not some kind of magic hocus pocus. It's not a kind of, you know, zapping of the water which takes away the stain of original sin, which was traditional medieval teaching. It also must be received by faith. And if you if there is no faith, there is no baptism. I mean, just as if there is no faith, there is no communion. I mean, you know, it is only within the context of a living faith relationship with God that the act of baptism has any meaning. And of course, as you know, there were a lot of people in Zurich who made that conclusion, who came to that conclusion, saw that particular logic. And these are the people you see whom we now call the Anabaptists. And they began within that context. And working from that point of view, which you can understand, I mean, if you follow that sort of logic. But the interesting thing is saying he himself never didn't do that. He didn't get to that point. And one of the things that may seem curious at first sight is that while there are a lot of people who accepted what he had to say about communion, fewer people, including himself, were prepared to pursue this logic in relation to baptism. And so one has to ask why you say, What was the sticking point? Why were they not prepared to follow the logic through with the other sacrament? And the main reason for this is that baptism was understood in medieval theology as taking away the stain of original sin.
Everybody who was born in the world came into the world with original sin. There is no such thing as an innocent human being. However, young and helpless that human being may be. The corollary of that, of course, is if there is no such thing as innocence. Jesus as Savior must be the savior of little children. As much as the savior of adults. There is a little child cannot get to heaven without having Christ as its savior. You see, that's I mean, Christ is the savior at all. And in the Middle Ages, of course, you had to baptize newly born children as fast as possible in case they died. And the infant mortality rate, of course, is very high, but you baptize them as quickly as possible to avoid that particular problem and seek to ensure that the child went to heaven because they had been claimed for Christ. Just see they had been cleansed of their original sin. And that was that. Now. If you deny infant baptism, if you say baptism has to be the result of faith. And therefore, if there's no faith, no living faith, act of faith, then baptism doesn't apply. So what do you say about the baptized? Are you saying that a little child doesn't need Christ as its savior? And again, remember that you're dealing and you're living in an age when infant mortality is common. I mean, today infant mortality, thankfully, is relatively rare, but this time it was common. You know, probably I don't know what percentage, but an enormous percentage of babies born died. So it was a living practical issue for lots of ordinary people. And to deny infant baptism appeared even to people like Singley, to be a form of the heresy, which is known as Palladian ism from the conflict between Augustan and Courageous back in the fourth, fifth, early fifth century, the belief that there is no such thing as original sin, that you can be born in a state of innocence.
And that guilt for sin only begins when you yourself start committing sin. And therefore, of course, it is only when you reach the age of discretion, the age when you realize the difference between right and wrong, that you can properly be blamed. And of course, it's only at that age that you can have and make a decision of faith also. And so the whole question of whether you are going to heaven or hell gets sort of pushed back from birth to, you know, sometime in childhood, when you come to this point of realization one way or the other. So theologically, this caused a problem and it's something you see that's worth thinking about because in the modern world, it sort of come back in a rather different kind of way. Nowadays, people are more sentimental than theological. And so it's very difficult for a lot of people today to accept that a newly born child is a sinner, or at least is sinful. And this is something we need to think through very, very carefully, that whatever you think about baptism, I get that for the moment. But nevertheless, sin is something which is inherited, something which is, you know, in us from the beginning, and there's no such thing as a state of innocence. If there were, it would be to a person's advantage to die before reaching the age of discretion. Because when you reach the age of discretion, you're going to choose the wrong thing. So rather than avoid rather than run the risk of that, I mean, you might as well smother your two year old and probably want to do that anyhow half the time. But you know, I mean, you might as well do that and sort of put put the little child into heaven for sure.
I would say, rather than run the risk of having the child grow up and make the wrong decision. You see what I mean? Now I'm putting it in a very blunt and very sort of extreme way. But there is a point here because in a funny sort of way, a lot of people think that and it comes out most clearly when children die. It's very, very difficult. In fact, it's impossible to say to somebody that their little baby, it has not gone to heaven. But I wouldn't want you to say that maybe has not gone to heaven. I mean, we don't know whether the baby's gone to heaven or not. But I don't really think you can honestly say that the child has gone to heaven either with total assurance. You see, because how do you know? Now you can say if the child is a child of Christian parents, you know, the child is given to as a child because of that and so on. You know, you can trust God for that and that I'm happy about. No problem. But just generally speaking, you see, if you imagine that every sort of newborn child who dies, every mentally handicapped person who cannot make a profession of faith, you know, anybody like that is automatically on the road to heaven, regardless of any any other consideration. Then what you are really saying is it's better to be like that than to be normal. You say, because it's only when you're normal that you have a chance of sinning and that is unacceptable, you say. So this you have to realize, was the problem that people felt in the 16th century. They were you know, there was tension over this and that. And this is where the civil authorities got involved in the act and see the theologians had their problems over what they saw as plagiarism.
But the civil authorities also had problems with re baptism precisely because it was re baptism and baptism. In other words, it was one thing to delay baptism. If you had a child and you didn't want to baptize the child, you know, and you let the child grow up and baptized, that's one thing. You know, there was plenty of precedent for that in the early church. There was deathbed baptism and all this kind of thing. Nobody people didn't like it, perhaps, but they could accept. They could see that there was historical precedent for delaying baptism. But what there was no historical precedent for was denial of baptism, denial of the validity of infant baptism. So the early anabaptists had, of course, all of them been baptized as infants. And when they gave up believing in infant baptism or when they came to a belief in believers baptism, because perhaps they never really exactly believed in infant baptism, they just accepted it, you know, as a practice. I don't suppose they thought about it terribly much, but in a later time, when they became believers in Believers baptism, they then went out and got themselves re baptized, you see, because they said, Well, the baptism as infants doesn't matter. It has no validity. And this was a challenge. To the order of church and state, because what you were saying, in effect, was the church has no power. Over me. You know, my baptism means nothing to the state, which, of course, at that time had no way of registering births other than through baptisms. I mean, there was no system of registration or anything like that. And if you had to prove that you were born in a certain place or something or other, it was your baptismal certificate that you went for and not your birth certificate.
The state, of course, saw this as a threat to the social order, because to deny you baptism to your infant baptism seemed to them to be a denial of citizenship. You say something to do that you were you you were from this place. You were born here. You were baptized here. Therefore you belong here. That's the way they looked at it. And civil is civil. Registration of births is a modern thing. I mean, it only came in really in the 19th century before that, you know, baptism was the standard way of of registering births. So you had this, you know, factor as well. And therefore the the civil authorities were against the anabaptists because they saw them as social revolutionaries. And so you had the standard phenomenon of church and state authorities ganging up against what they saw as potential troublemakers. And inevitably, as a result, the anabaptists were persecuted. I mean, there was no way this was not going to happen for that reason, you see, because both sides saw a danger to themselves in this. Now you can see something of this today, I suppose, in church life, because in relationship between Baptists and other denominations, the sort of people who practice infant baptism like Methodists or Episcopalians or Presbyterians or Catholics or whatever, what you usually find is that these other people and Methodists and what have you don't particularly mind if you don't want to baptize your infant. You know, they may do that, but they're not going to force it on other people particularly. But they feel threatened if somebody, let's say, is baptized in infancy as a methodist and then at the age of whatever, you know, 15, 16 or something, decides they want to be baptized again in their eyes as as a Baptist or a Pentecostal or whatever it is, because this appears to be a denial of the validity of the ministry of the other church.
You see what I mean? This is the way it looks. It's it's one thing if you're dealing with a blank, you know, with somebody who has never been baptized at all in any way, that's different. But if, you know, joining a different church involves some kind of activity, which is a is a denial, even if it's perhaps not understood that way by the Baptists. I'm not saying the Baptists set out to deny the invalidity of the Methodists or whatever. They probably don't think like that. But from the Methodist point of view, this is the way it will appear. You see that that our baptism is not accepted as valid by these people. You see who will cancel it out by giving this person their own baptism, which would not happen in reverse. Because if you go from a Baptist church to a methodist church, you know, they would accept your baptism. They wouldn't say, Oh, well, you know, you'll have to go back into the womb and be re baptized. I mean, there's no sort of you see what I mean? It doesn't work in reverse in this particular way. Now, of course, you have your own convictions and so on, and that's fine. And I don't want to interfere with that. But just to try to explain and try to understand the kind of reaction that can occur, you know, when this sort of thing crops up and that what happened in the 16th century in Zurich. And, you know, a similar type of reaction can happen today. The only difference, of course, is that you can't call the state in to persecute or anything like that, and nor would anybody wish to try. But sometimes you can you know, there can be feeling about this between churches over this sort of issue.
This is really true of the Catholic Church. Yeah. And so I think that one thing that yeah, like I was judging. Yes, that's right. Yes. And this can be felt quite strongly, you know, by by people because they think it's a kind of attack on them in a way. You know. And I of course, you wouldn't think of it like that. You see, that's the problem. I mean, if people who are have have Baptist convictions don't see their convictions as being read in this way by other people and are perhaps surprised to hear it, you know, but that's the way it happens. And I'm not I mean, it appears that they say that the that the ministry of the people have this is not valid. They are saying that at least in that realm. I mean, they would. Yes. And yes, if someone comes from a Presbyterian church or a Baptist church. Yes. Yes. And as an infant. Yes. In my denomination is not valid. Right. To get revenge. Right. Because it's not that. Right. It's not just in appearance. They are saying that part of your ministry is invalid, right? Yeah, exactly. And so, therefore, of course, this causes problems in relations between the churches, inevitably. You know, and it's just really to try to understand that aspect, too, which, as I say, isn't always clear. You know, when this kind of argument is going on. But that is, see, the combination of circumstances which led to the persecution of the Anabaptists in Zurich in the 1520s. And you have to understand that. And I'm not saying it was the right thing to do. I don't think it was the right thing to do. But nevertheless, you know, one can see why it was done.
Even if you don't agree with it, I think now that, you know, there may maybe a stronger point or one that at the end of that provision. Well, of course, because. Yes, because pacifism basically is what we would today call conscientious objection. You say? Yes. And pacifism, of course, was a great danger because, in effect, you were saying that there were large you know, anybody who joined this group was not available for military service and especially in a small place like Zurich. Every hand counted. You know, if even a small number of people said that they weren't going to join in, it would seriously weaken the defenses of the state. That was a problem. I definitely. And it's very interesting you see that the English tradition of Baptists, English Baptists have never been pacifists in the Anabaptist sense that that tradition does not exist among Anglo-Saxon Baptists, you know, an existing continent in continental European Mennonites and things like that. But it's one of the big differences between Mennonites and Baptists, that Mennonites have a pacifist tradition which which Baptists, as we understand them, doubt that didn't carry over, you know, and probably just as well, because if it had, they probably would have been persecuted, not least in the United States. I don't know how many of you realize this, but when the American Revolution broke out, pacifists in the colonies, particularly the Quakers in Pennsylvania, were persecuted not by the British. Who never persecuted anybody, of course. But but but by the Continental Congress, they were because they wouldn't take up arms. Yeah, you see, they said, look, you know, we need everybody all hands on deck sort of thing. And who do you think you are? And they said, Well, we're Quakers, you know, we don't do this kind of thing.
So imagine if the Baptists had had the same attitude at that point. They probably wouldn't have been very popular, but certainly wouldn't have been, you know, the man who what? Menno Simons Yes, Yeah, but he wasn't a Baptist. See, this is the confusion of terminology. We'll come to this later. But the, the tradition of, of Baptist churches in the English speaking world is different. For reasons which I will explain in due course. But it's different from this saying. American Baptists Southern Baptist Convention is not a direct descendant of the Zurich Anabaptists. There is a link, but they are not direct descendants. If you're looking for the direct descendants, you have to look at the Mennonites, the Hutterites, people like that. They are the direct descendants. Whereas your Southern Baptist type of people have similarities, but basically they are not, you know, from that direct line of descent. And we'll look at that in due course as to how that came about. Okay. But it's now time to break, go out and enjoy the sunshine. It's a hot, sunny day. Thank you for listening to this lesson brought to you by biblical training dot org. Feel free to make copies of this lecture to give to others. But please do not charge for these copies or alter the content in any way without permission.