The Reformation And The Theological Tenets Of The Reformation

Decent Essays

The view that salvation can be attained through faith alone was one largely responsible for the theological shift that was observed across Europe during the Reformation, and was the ideology that created the rift that still exists between the Catholic and Protestant church. Whilst the English Reformation is said to have begun with the Act of Supremacy and the break from Rome, Henry VIII’s Church of England remained doctrinally conservative and did not accept the Protestant affirmation that salvation could be attained by faith alone. Indeed, it was not until Elizabeth’s religious settlement that justification by faith was incorporated into the doctrine of the Church of England. However, this is not to say that it was not the key theological tenet of the English Reformation, just as it was the key doctrine across Europe, but rather that Henry VIII’s Reformation may be viewed largely as a political rather than a theological one.
In 1520, Luther wrote that, ‘faith… unites the soul with Christ, as a bride united with her bridegroom’. In this, Luther highlights the importance of establishing an intimate relationship between Christ and the believer. The faith that Luther describes is one that is more than simply realising that Christ’s word is full of grace; it is a formed faith, as Aquinas would define, one where the believer actively assents to Christ’s salvific love. Many of Luther’s contemporaries in the Catholic tradition, alongside many Lutheran critics today, criticise his

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