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History of Doctrine II: The Reformation and Post-Reformation Periods

Instructor: Forrest Bivens

In every period of church history, there were forces at work from inside and outside the church which led theologians to speak and write as they did. Some doctrinal (or dogmatic or creedal) statements defended and promoted Bible truths, while others obscured or undermined these truths. Also, language changes. Terminology that previously served the church well might not be sufficient when facing a new enemy of revealed truth. More might need to be written and defined in one age and circumstance than at a previous time.

Here we will focus primarily on the fertile Reformation period. But we will also give some attention to pre-Reformation thought and doctrinal development (e.g., the medieval scholastics and mystics) and post-Reformation theology (e.g., the period of orthodoxy, counter-Reformation, pietism, the rise of rationalism). Primary goals are to grow in appreciation for our Lutheran heritage, see the inevitable need to face religious error and give adequate answers, and equip ourselves to contend for the faith that has been passed on to us. Secondary goals are to increase our familiarity with theologians and thinkers who have contributed significantly to church history, and to be all the more prepared to deal with thoughts and concepts that may be expected to resurface inside and outside the church.

Area of Study: Church History
Tuition: $1200
Course Number: CH5156
Course Credits: 3.0
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