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The Devil Behind the Surplice

Matthias Flacius and John Hooper on Adiaphora
  • By Wade Johnston

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Product Description
Between 1548 and 1551, controversies over adiaphora, or indifferent matters, erupted in both Germany and England. Matthias Flacius Illyricus in Germany and John Hooper in England both refused to accept, among other things, the same liturgical vestment: the surplice. While Flacius' objections to the imperial liturgical requirements were largely contextual, because the vestments and rites were forced on the church and were part of a recatholicizing agenda, Hooper protested because he was convinced that disputed vestments and rites lacked a biblical basis. The Devil behind the Surplice demonstrates that, while Flacius fought to protect the reformation principle of justification by grace alone through faith alone, Hooper strove to defend the reformation principle that Scripture alone was the source and norm of Christian doctrine and practice. Ultimately, Flacius wanted more Elijahs, prophets to guide a faithful remnant, and Hooper wanted a new Josiah, a young reform king to purify the kingdom and strip it of idolatry. ""Wade Johnston has masterfully traced two trajectories of the reformation reflected through the lens of adiaphora in the figures of Flacius and Hooper. Solid biographical studies of both men are coupled with a careful study of their respective understandings of the goal of the reformation . . . Johnston has done his historical homework giving readers much to ponder in light of the way that the contrasting trajectories of two reformers continue to manifest themselves in the lives of contemporary Protestant churches. The Devil Behind the Surplice is a welcomed contribution."" --John T. Pless, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana ""Johnston provides helpful insight into Flacius' extensive writings, his intrepid spirit as a confessor, and his clear understanding of the doctrinal compromise implicit in accepting the terms of the Leipzig Interim. Perhaps most thought-provoking are the many contrasts he draws between Hooper and Flacius in their approach to clerical vestments. He perceptively observes that Flacius' primary concern was preserving the gospel of salvation by grace alone, while Hooper's was obedience to the law."" --Earle D. Treptow, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin Wade Johnston serves as assistant professor of theology at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before that, he served ten years as a parish pastor in Michigan. He is also the author of An Uncompromising Gospel: Lutheranism's First Identity Crisis and Lessons for Today.

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  • Additional Details
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    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781532617720
    • Manufacturer: Pickwick Pubn
    • ISBN 13: 9781532617720
    • Publication Date: 01/01/2018
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Wade Johnston
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