Here is the list they posit:
1) Justification by faith alone; 2) baptismal regeneration; 3) the real and substantial presence of Christ's body and blood in Holy Communion; 4) the relative indifference of polity as defining the being of the church; 5) Scripture as the only binding norm of faith and practice.
The author admits that “the doctrines characteristic of the (Augsburg) Evangelical Reformation” are not exhaustively presented. I suggest, however, that the list as presented would not be accepted by the original signers of the Confessio Augustana. I think particularly of #4. My studies do not suggest that the question of polity was a reformational, but a post-reformational issue. As evidence, I note two things:
· the CA contains an entire article—and several other statements—that assume an episcopal polity
· both the German and Scandinavian Lutherans continued an “episcopal polity” (granted, in
What was not maintained, of course, was the insistence on ordination from Roman prelates; but even the primacy of Rome as a matter of honor was maintained in the confessional documents. Perhaps what the author(s) meant, then, was not indifference of polity as defining the esse of the church, but the necessity of episcopal ordination and Roman claims of supremacy.
Understanding that the author(s) admit that the list is not exhaustive, I was struck by the omission of the presumption to edit the liturgy. If anything is a hallmark doctrinal characteristic common to all strains of the reformation in the 16th century, then I would find it to be this notion. Furthermore, I would suggest that the presumption to edit the liturgy not only was it bedrock but also had both the most widespread and profoundest impact on subsequent Western Christianity—even into the current edition of the Missale Romanum.
HT: William Tighe