What does it mean to be saved?
Catholic view: receive the sacraments
Medieval Pietism/mysticism: Focus on reproduction of Christ’s death and resurrection in the soul rather than at Mass; Focus on yielding the self to God in Gelassenheit
Luther’s view: early view was medieval pietism; Later view was imputed righteousness
General Protestant view: Imputed righteousness
Anabaptist view: Rejected the sacramental view; Rejected infant baptism; Agreed with Medieval Pietist view; Believed salvation is incarnation and requires repentance and faith which will transform the heart and life
What Is the Church?
Catholic view: Where the sacraments are properly administered
Protestant view: Where the sacraments are properly administered and the Word is preached
Anabaptist view: Where those who trust and follow Christ are gathered; More emphasis on discipleship; More emphasis on the gathered body, the participation of believers in worship, in the choosing their leaders, and discerning the will of God. Corporate worship, mutual aid, etc. characterized the Anabaptist community
Reflections: Believers have to be committed to Jesus and the body, and leaders serve as servants for this model to work.
What ethic applies in human relationships?
Catholic: The orders practice the love ethic differently than the rest of society
Luther: No major change from Catholics: The Word is preached and the sacraments kept, but people go to war and hate and kill.
Anabaptists: Believers are called to practice the Sermon on the Mount, to follow the example of Christ, to resist evil without violence, and to suffer wrong.
What happens in the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist?
- Catholic view: Transubstantiation
- Luther’s view: Consubstantial
- Calvin’s view: Spiritual Presence
- Zwingli’s view: Memorial
- Anabaptist view: Similar to Zwingli’s view, but beyond that emphasized the brotherhood
Scripture- How do we know truth?
Everyone was a Biblicist…but…
Luther, Zwingli: You can do anything the Bible doesn’t condemn
Anabaptists: You can only do what the Bible commands; Christocentric; NT over OT; Testimony of committed believers throughout the history of the Church, including the local church, is the only adequate context and forum for Biblical interpretation; Places living alongside believing certain truths. We evaluate whether or not a person believes right by whether or not the person lives right. “Anabaptist hermeneutics is the hermeneutics of obedience.”
The Anabaptists had a compelling view of the Church that drove them to missionary activity. They believed that their movement represented a return to the 1st century Church. Rejecting the sacramental view of grace and forensic justification, they said that Christ’s life death and resurrection is reproduced in the life of the believer. Because they believe in the freedom of the will they were compelled to preach to those around them. And they preached as they ran… and in their martyrdom.