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Reform - Reform Movements in the Church

(4,289 words)

Author(s): Viktor Conzemius
Part of Reform: 1. Reform Movements in the Church 2. Survey of the Great Reform Movements 1. Biblical Foundation. By justification man is changed from the sinner he was into the just man he was not. In a real sense, therefore, he ceases to be a sinner. This righteousness, however, is not a fixed possession but is constantly exposed to the world’s opposition and within the range of man’s free decision (Gal 2 : 11 if. , 5:24-25; 1 Pet 5:8-9). Besides the personal sins of those who are already justified and the host…

Modern Church History

(6,569 words)

Author(s): Viktor Conzemius
1. The denominational age. From the historical standpoint, the traditional division at about 1500 does not represent a clear-cut beginning of the modern era. True, the modern State crystallized in the 16th century out of a process already begun in the late 13th century, but it was only in the, 17th century that the world which lasted till, the French Revolution emerged. Human life was still governed to a large extent by the medieval rhythm. Man’s biological vulnerability, his vigorous enjoyment of life, the equal deployment of all his faculties on his environment — all show the profound continuity between the late Middle Ages and the beginnings of modern times. The historian must keep in mind this constant interplay of factors “still” present in this period and others “already” present, if he is to grasp the unity and the diversity of the two epochs. Even though the Reformation destroyed the confessional unity of medieval Latin Christendom and dissolved the unity between transcendent revelation and visible Church, the world remained “godly” till well into the age of the Enlightenment. The laicizing of culture was not as yet equivalent to secularization. The drive for autonomy in the various cultural sectors was still not wholly complete and the Church continued to be an essential point of reference within the variety of forms of human life. Hope of understanding between the Confessions had still not been abandoned even after the Council of Trent and the Wars of Religion in France; longing for…

Old Catholic Church

(793 words)

Author(s): Viktor ConZemius
1. Historical survey. The Old Catholic Church is the name given to a group of ecclesiastical communities independent of Rome but of an episcopal structure, which, since the 18th century, had left the Latin Church of the West and banded together in the “Union of Utrecht” (1889) on the basis of a common interpretation of the faith. There are such autocephalous episcopal Churches in Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, North America and the Philippines. The reasons for separation…