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The Principle of Protestantism: Lancaster Series on the Mercersburg Theology

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  34 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Paperback, 268 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Wipf & Stock Publishers
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Ben Zornes
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, history
This book is a series of lectures given close to two hundred years ago by Philip Schaff. He was a German professor of Church history who came the USA to teach at the German Reformed Theological Seminary in Mercersburg, PA. He is a poignant defender of Protestantism and with rapier wisdom guides the reader to see that Protestantism was the greatest fruit of the Catholic Church. 

In our modern day, when many Protestants are trading in their heritage for either Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or H
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sure to broaden your horizons of 19th cent. "Reformed" theology. Sometimes peculiar, this book is always excellent. An able defense against both Roman Catholicism and sectarian and non-catholic modern evangelicalism.
Jacob Aitken
“Analysis of the Mercersberg Theology”
I come not to bury Schaff but to praise him. Such should be the mindset of those Christians who disagree with the Mercersberg Theology. It it represents a particularly fine analysis of European and American Protestantism up to the 19th century. Philip Schaff and John Williamson Nevin correctly identified many weaknesses within Protestantism and attempted a systematic reconstruction of the Protestant project with a particular emphasis upon the theology of Jo
J. Rutherford
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Schaff's discussion of Sola Scriptura (the formal principle of the Reformation) in the first part of the book is well worth the read. The second part is not as good as the first, Hegel's fingerprints are all over his history--despite the protestations of the author of the introduction. I have posted a short summary and interaction with this discussion of Sol Scriptura here allforthegloryofhiskingdom.wordpress....
CJ Bowen
Sep 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Solid description of a significant problem facing Protestantism, and a correct though loose and theoretical prescription as to how to proceed. Schaff is correct that Protestantism cannot continue to live in the past, or pretend like the issues of days gone by are still the issues today. He is also correct to affirm that honoring our fathers means not regressing, either, back to medieval Christianity or Catholicism. In affirming that the need of the hour is the recovery of the importance of eccle ...more
Jared Mcnabb
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This excellent book is a call for a historical, catholic, and united Protestantism, against the forces of Roman Catholicism (and other such movements) one the one hand and low church sectarianism on the other. It is surprisingly timely with weaknesses of modern evangelicalism as well as the present mass of evangelicals exiting to Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy.

The last chapter at times is a bit disconcerting. Schaff begins extolling the virtues of German philosophy, theology, the German church and
Peter N.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, deep book by a man more known for church history than his theology. His claim, in 1844, that the two greatest threats to Protestantism were rationalism and sectarianism have proven to be true. One the most astounding aspects of the book is Schaff's ability to pull out what is good from almost any movement. He carefully dissects various parts of and views in the Church mining for what is biblical among the ruins. He does this with Roman Catholicism, rationalism, sectarianism and Ger ...more
Oct 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Story goes that Schaff really offended many sectarian Protestants of his day and now I know why. This book is as much about what is right about the Protestant church as it is about what is wrong with it. I expected it to be a bit more lively perhaps with historical narratival examples (considering Schaff's fantastic work in church history), but it turned out to be more technical. Otherwise I'd give it another star. I'd love to see a more readable version for today's pastor and informed layman.
Aaron Ventura
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Some of this was over my head since I am not very familiar with german idealism and rationalism. Schaff makes some good critiques of the protestant project and I could hear Peter Leithart's "End of Protestantism" echoing on the pages. My take away was that as protestants we need to deal with our own sectarianism and mortify that before we can expect another reformation out of Rome.
Adam Ross
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Review to follow.
Steve Wilkins
this is my second time through this and it's good again.
Douglas Wilson
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
First rate.
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Schaff is very convincing here.
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Philip Schaff was educated at the gymnasium of Stuttgart, and at the universities of Tübingen, Halle and Berlin, where he was successively influenced by Baur and Schmid, by Tholuck and Julius Müller, by David Strauss and, above all, Neander. At Berlin, in 1841, he took the degree of B.D., and passed examinations for a professorship. He then traveled through Italy and Sicily as tutor to Baron Krisc ...more
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