Analysis Of Calvin's Reply To Sadoleto

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The crux of Calvin’s “Reply to Sadoleto” focuses on the theological criticisms of Roman Catholicism and the formation of Reformation theology. Calvin argues that the Roman Catholic Church first and foremost silenced the Gospel, which led to the perversion of the four things on which the safety of the church is founded, which are doctrine, discipline, the sacraments, and ceremonies (9). In order to purify these vital elements of the church, the Catholic Church needs to change its perspective on the understanding of true faith, the true church, and the authority of the universal church.

Calvin believes that having the right understanding of faith is an integral part of Christian faith and a cornerstone of the church. The proper understanding
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Some of these same strengths are voiced by Calvin in his letter to Saltado, including restoring the authority of the universal church from the pope to scripture. “The Reformers re-established the crucial fact that the church must be a listening church . . . listening to the voice it hears in Scripture—the voice it dares to call the voice of God, and in obedience to which it must be prepared to sacrifice all else” (69). In other words, the Reformers emphasized the importance of basing all the church’s doctrines on scripture.
However, there are many weaknesses of Protestantism. Restoring the authority back to scripture led more and more theologians and scholars to have a “rigor scholasticus” (70) attitude to scripture. This led them to identify faults with certain texts in the Bible, a practice also known as literary criticism. Although learning the historical background of a text gave considerable insight, it also led many to ponder the factuality of the miracle stories. Another main weakness regarding individual interpretation of scripture was removing the human element of the scripture by fully crediting the Holy Spirit with its authorship. This became known as the docetic heresy. Therefore Brown encourages Protestants to distinguish “between the Word of God and the words of Scripture” (Brown 73). In other words, the words in Scripture are meant to reveal God, his love and his

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