The Reformers’ Basic Objection

March 15, 2010

The Reformers’ basic protest can be summarized in the words of Adolf Harnack: rightly did they rebel against the Catholic sacramental system, he says, since “it was rooted in the fundamental conception that religion is an antidote for the finiteness of man, in the sense that it deifies his nature.” And by the revolutionary force of the Reformation principles “the axe was laid to the root of the whole Catholic sacramental concept”—that is, the mediation of grace through what he calls “the magic of the opus operatum.”

Francis Clark, Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Reformation (Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1960), 105.

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