Theologia vitae

Volume 2 (year 2009), issue 1

Odkaz reformace církvi a současnosti

    Jak obstát před Bohem?
    Sola fide
. Ospravedlnění vírou, nebo skutky?

    (Robert Hart)

The contribution starts with providing a general outline of the historical and theological setting of the justification doctrine by Luther and other reformists. Then attempts are made at gaining a deeper insight in the thesis central for the Reformation, based on statements of key authors and documents, while it gets briefly evaluated in terms of its biblical and theological validity. Finally, it is put into currently relevant context and applications of the sola fide principle is sought today.

    Solus Christus:
    Stačí nám Kristus?

    (Marshall T. Brown)

The question of whether Christ alone is sufficient for salvation is as relevant for us today as it was for Luther, Calvin, and our own theologians of the United Brethren. To understand the theological context from which arose the Reformation conviction of Solus Christus we examine the Decree of Justification as declared by the council of Trent in 1547. Today we face many of the same aberrant theological concepts that caused our forefathers to assert the need for Christ alone for salvation. So then, how do we find our way forward? We do so by examining our roots and remembering our Reformation forefathers through the writings of the United Brethren as contained in their confessions and interpretive notes to the six-volume Kralická Bible. Let the biblical conviction of Christ alone for salvation once again resound from our pulpits!

    Zákon a evangelium.
    Hermeneuticko-homiletický klíč k reformační teologii a etice

    (Thomas Johnson)

The key to understanding Reformation theology and ethics is the very similar relationship between law and gospel that described in the writings of Martin Luther and John Calvin. This is hermeneutical and homiletical in multiple ways: it is central for the historical understanding of the Reformation proclamation; the main Reformers saw this relationship as the central principle of interpreting and proclaiming the biblical message; and this is a central question for Christians who wish to appropriate, interpret, and proclaim their convictions within the classical Protestant tradition. This theological/ethical framework can also guide reflection on the relationship of faith to culture and politics.

    Co znamená tělo a krev Páně?
    Eucharistie a zápas o jednotu církve

    (Pavel Černý)

What does it mean to eat the body and to drink the blood of Christ (John 6:53-57) in celebration of the Lord’s Supper? Should we understand that only symbolically, spiritually or even bodily? Eucharist and struggle for the unity of the church is high on contemporary ecumenical agenda. There is an influence of postmodernism with its emphases on religious experience and also great ecumenical desire to achieve the unity of Christendom around the Lord’s Table. Seeking the answer, it is quite obvious that we cannot overlook centuries of theological debates, exegesis of Biblical passages and living out Christian spiritualities. There are meaningful contributions from Patristic, Medieval Age, the First and Second Reformation and contemporary Christian endeavors to understand deeper Christ’s presence in worshiping church. All of that witnesses to deep desire to understand more the presence of Christ Jesus in our life and to eat real bread for our life’s journey which would be the source of our motivation and power. What is the link between Christ’s presence in Holy Communion, in the Word of God and the fellowship of the church? Does the Holy Spirit need bread and wine produced by men to minister to our soul? Many times, even in the time of Reformation these questions divided the church. Do we approach certain consensus today?

    Jak první reformace nakládala s Augustinem a jeho spisy?
    U Husa, Mikuláše Biskupce a Rokycany

    (Jan Valeš)

This article presents a study of the way three chosen authorities of the first reformation explicitly build on the work of Augustine (quotes, references or explicit allusions). Namely: Jan Hus (John Huss) and his writings De ecclesia and Faith, Decalog and Lord's prayer. Secondly, Mikuláš Biskupec z Pelhřimova (in Latin: Nicolaus Pilgramensis) and his Confession and Apology of Taborites. Thirdly, selected sermons of Jan Rokycana (John of Rokycan). First, there is overall description of their work with Church Fathers, then study of their use of Augustine based on a selected part of the writing. At the end, the article contains a comparison of Augustine and these authorities in their treatment of the Church. Article proves that Augustine is the most quoted Church Father in first reformation. The analysis also shows that Augustine has the greatest influence on Jan Hus. Mikuláš stresses the authority of Scripture so much that no particular Church Father stands out to influence him most. Augustine is the most frequently quoted Church Father by Jan Rokycana as well, but without any special influence on his theology.

    Puritánská reforma anglikánské liturgie
    Reflexe bohoslužby na základě Westminsterských standardů

    (Karel Hanza, Alena Hanzová)

This is a study of the history and development of Puritan movement regarding to liturgy, structure and patterns of worship.

The first section outlines the history of English Reformation from the times of Henry VIII up to the Civil War. The present authors describe the “vestments controversy” and the impact of John Knox on the England of Edward VI. In the following paragraph, they focus on the relationship of Puritans to the Book of Common Prayer and the policy of Elizabeth II and the religious conflicts of that era. The next section introduces important figures of Puritan movement and their influence on the theological debate: Thomas Cartwright and Jeremiah Burroughs. "The Stuart Reign and the Church Policy" is the section where authors explain church problems of the first half of 17th century in England as well as attempts of James I to solve them.

The main body of the article deals with the Westminster Assembly and its contribution to the Church. They describe its duration and results affecting Church policy. They mention parties presented at the Assembly, Congregationalistsand Presbyterians. What follows is the analysis of the Westminster Standards, namely chapters of the WCF on God’s Law, Christian Liberty of Consciousness and chapters on Sanctification of Christian Sabbath and a portion of Directory of Public Worship of God. The authors try to explain Puritan approach to worship and Christian life. God’s sovereignty and God’s Word are the criteria for the true worship of God. The essentials for worship were of course preaching the Word and singing Psalms in congregation. Attention is also called to the baptism, the Lord’s Supper and their place in worship.

    Jsou kořeny kapitalismu v Kalvínově učení?
    Duch kapitalismu a reformace

    (Lubomír Mlčoch)

The anniversary of Jean Calvin at the time of a global financial crisis leads to a need of rethinking the ideas of this religious reformer of Geneva. The author–professional economist and an expert on Catholic social teaching–argues that Calvin was not an “inventor of capitalism” but rather a spiritual father of today’s schools of “social economics” and “solidary finances”. The interpretation of the Calvin’s letter to Claude de Sachin (1575) shows that the reformer’s reasoning is based on the “golden rule of Jesus”, and the motivation of creditor is more intentional than utilitarian. The Calvin’s theological and moral justification of lending money on interest is incompatible with a “greed and fears paradigm” that caused the current crisis.

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