In its actual historical context, it hardly seems fair to call the Reformation a "mistake." In 1517, the Church was in need of a spiritual and theological reform. The issues raised by Renaissance humanism - and by the profound corruption of the Church's leaders, the Avignon papacy, and the Great Schism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries - lingered unresolved. What were key theological problems that led to the Reformation?
Theologian Matthew Levering helps readers see these questions from a Catholic perspective. Surveying nine key themes - Scripture, Mary, the Eucharist, the Seven Sacraments, monasticism, justification and merit, purgatory, saints, and papacy - he examines the positions of Martin Luther and makes a case that the Catholic position is biblically defensible once one allows for the variety of biblically warranted modes of interpreting Scripture. At the same time, Levering makes clear that he cannot "prove" the Catholic case.
The book concludes with a spirited response by "mere Protestant" theologian Kevin J. Vanhoozer.
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About the Author
Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Ph D, Cambridge University, England) is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is author of several books, including Is There a Meaning in This Text? The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge, The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology, and Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine. He also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Systematic Theology and the Journal of Theological Interpretation.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Scripture 35
Chapter 2 Mary 53
Chapter 3 The Eucharist 74
Chapter 4 The Seven Sacraments 90
Chapter 5 Monasticism 111
Chapter 6 Justification and Merit 122
Chapter 7 Purgatory 141
Chapter 8 Saints 157
Chapter 9 Papacy 172
A Mere Protestant Response Kevin J. Vanhoozer 191
Subject Index 233
Scripture Index 235