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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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Theologies of Sacraments in the Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation

Theologies of Sacraments in the Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation

(p.119) 7 Theologies of Sacraments in the Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

Michael S. Horton

NYU Press

This overview chapter for the second part of the book contrasts the theologies of the sacraments in the Reformation era with those of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Salvation in the Protestant view meant believers are “justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.” This differed significantly from the Roman Catholic position in which “‘created’ grace is a substance infused into the sinner to bring spiritual and moral healing.” For the Reformers grace was not a created substance but God’s attitude or disposition of favor toward sinners. This dependency on grace alone involved both preaching “as a means of grace in its own right” and the sacraments as involving “the divine activity that gives efficacy to Baptism and Communion.” While they differed somewhat in their theologies of the sacraments, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Cranmer, and other Reformers were in agreement in that the grace of God in Jesus Christ is presented in the Word preached and the Sacrament administered.

Keywords:   sacrament, baptism, grace, Reformation, Counter-Reformation

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