Ecumenism - Week 3

The Protestant Reformation

A number of great theological advancements took place in the 1500’s; unfortunately, these advances were at the expense of ecumenism. Once Protestant’s agreed that the authority of the church was scripture instead of the papacy; theological debates over doctrinal issues were unavoidable.

In the following centuries, after Martin Luther nailed up his Ninety-five Theses for debate, it seems that almost every doctrinal issue was addressed. These issues often widened the gap between Protestants and Catholics. Within Protestantism, the doctrinal issues often moved different groups to form new denominations until Protestantism was shrouded in schism. For Martin Luther, the most important doctrinal issue was that of the Doctrine of Justification. Luther argued that salvation relied upon the grace of God. He debated his position against the Catholic Doctrine of Sanctification-salvation by works of righteousness.

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