Readings: “Invitation to Church History”

Posted on: 16th May 2023


-Based on your readings of Ch. 10: Invitation to Church History: World by John D. Hannah

-Focus your reading on pgs. 384 - the chart on pg. 389.

-Describe how the Council of Trent defined Roman Catholicism in opposition to the Protestant Reformers. Also, evaluate the chart describing the differences between the Catholic Church and Protestant Church. In each of the major categories (Scripture, Anthropology, Soteriology, & Ecclesiology) describe which view you find more persuasive.

-For extra credit you can give your own bible references that support your view on each category.

-Be sure to answer in 2 - 3 pgs, double spaced, with 1 inch margins. Cite your sources in MLA.

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Readings: “Invitation to Church History”

Definition of Roman Catholicism and Protestant Reformers

The Council of Trent (1545-1563) was a Roman Catholic council held in Trent, Italy. It was one of the most important councils in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, and it defined Roman Catholicism in opposition to the Protestant Reformers. The Council of Trent defined Roman Catholicism in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. The council’s decrees reaffirmed the pope's authority over all Christians and condemned Protestant doctrines as heretical. The Council of Trent’s Decrees Expressed Four Key Points:

The Mass was a sacrifice that could be offered for sinners. The bread and wine became Christ’s body and blood through transubstantiation, believing that the substance of bread and wine becomes the substance of Christ’s body and blood during communion (Chapt 1o, 389).

Baptism was necessary for salvation because it washed away original sin. Only ordained clergy could administer sacraments such as penance (confession) or extreme unction (anointing with oil) (Chapter 10, 391).

Moreover, the council condemned many practices of the Protestant Reformation, including:

1) Transubstantiation (the belief that during mass, bread and wine are transformed by God into the body and blood of Christ)

2) Private confession to a priest

3) The celibacy vow for priests (it can be broken if it is found to be impossible to adhere to it)

4) The selling of indulgences (the granting by church officials of time off from purgatory).

Differences Between Catholic and Protestant Church

In the chart, the Catholic Church is described as influenced by Greek philosophy. Greek philosophers were interested in understanding the world around them and how it worked. This is evident in their writing about geology, astronomy, biology, etc. The Catholic Church followed this trend and developed a system of theology that was based on reason and rationality. The chart compares the Catholic Church and the Protestant church. The Roman Emperor Constantine created the Catholic church in 325 AD. It is called the "catholic" or "universal" church because it claims to be universal (Chapt 10, 389). That is, it covers the whole world. Martin Luther's Reformation created the Protestant churches from 1517-to 1525 AD. They are also called "Reformed" churches because they reform many doctrines from Catholicism. They believe that salvation comes through faith alone rather than through good works or sacraments, as taught by Catholicism. The Protestant Church was influenced by the Bible, which they believed divinely inspired. They felt that all people should be able to understand the Bible for themselves without having to go through an intermediary such as a priest or bishop. The differences between these two approaches can be seen in how they view history.

Moreover, the Catholic view is more traditionalist than modernist. In other words, they believe that we must look back at church history for guidance on how to live our lives today because we cannot know what God wants from us unless we understand what He has done in the past (Chapt 10, 390). This means that tradition is significant in Catholicism because it gives us an idea of what God wants from us today based on what He did in the past. Practice creates stability in our lives so that we do not have to reinvent ourselves every time there is a new pope constantly.



The scripture is what I found to be more interesting.

1. Scripture is the written word of God, which has been given to us as a complete revelation of God’s will for our salvation. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

2. Scripture is not the only infallible rule of faith and practice for the church but is sufficient for all things necessary to be believed and done to obtain eternal life. (2 Tim 3:15)

3. The Bible was not written at one time or place. Still, it was penned over several centuries by various authors using different styles, genres, voices and literary devices such as parables, metaphors etc. The Bible contains many human aspects, including historical errors, scientific inaccuracies, etc. These should not be taken literally or factually but are instead meant to illustrate deeper truths about God's nature and character (Luke 1:1-4; John 19:34; Heb 11:13).


Works Cited

Bible, H. O. L. M. A. N. Holy bible. Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Hannah, John David. Chapter 10. Invitation to Church History

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