Was the Reformation a Mistake? An Excerpt by Catholic Theologian Matthew Levering
I hold that the Reformers made mistakes, but that they chose to be reformers was not a mistake.
In 1517, the Church was in need of a spiritual and theological reform. In today’s excerpt from Was the Reformation a Mistake? Why Catholic Doctrine Is Not Unbiblical, Matthew Levering provides the backdrop to the Reformation and reasons why the Reformers were not wrong to challenge the Church in Rome.
Before proceeding, let me make some additional observations about whether the Reformation was a “mistake,” as my book’s title asks in light of the five-hundredth anniversary. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus’s preaching of the kingdom of heaven includes his sobering parable of the wheat and the weeds.…
Why Catholic Doctrine Is Not Unbiblical
A provocative question on the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. And an appropriate one given lingering divisions between Protestants and Catholics in orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
It’s a question Catholic professor Matthew Levering asks in his new book, Was the Reformation a Mistake? Spoiler alert: He doesn’t think it was.
He is “deeply grateful” for the Reformers’ emphasis on a number of doctrinal positions and believes “they were right in seeking reform” (31). Yet he does insist they “made some doctrinal mistakes” (15), which he addresses in his book:
I focus on nine issues raised by Luther at the outset of the Reformation that continue to divide Catholics and Protestants. These nine issues are the following: Scripture, Mary, the…
Locating Atonement in Dogmatic Theology with Aquinas and von Balthasar
The doctrine of atonement has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years. In this modern Quest for the Historic Atonement, some have called on the church to embrace a community of atonement theories; others have questioned whether God killing Jesus on the cross is “cosmic child abuse.”
A new edited volume by Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders, Locating Atonement, transcends these discussions about typology and combinations. Taking the conversation in a fresh, innovative direction, it asks:
How does the redemptive work of Christ relate to other load-bearing structures in dogmatic theology? (14)
The trajectory of this book is synthetic, in that it examines the relationship between this doctrine and other spheres of dogmatic theology. Two of the twelve essays engaging this question exemplify…