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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:33 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Have you read Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens? Just curious,since that one is in my library.


No. But I think I own it. There are a lot of books I own, that I haven't read, because, time, and a lot of books I think I own, but don't, because, old.

Am reading McGrath's bio/study of Lewis. When I finish it, I will own it, and have read it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:24 pm 
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I'm sure you've read far more than I have on the issue, if only because you've been at it longer, but I'm catching up. In the last 2 years, I've read four books on the Tudors, one book on the Plantagenets, and two books on the Wars of the Roses. Having read biographies of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, I just need a biography of Mary I to finish it off. I don't know if there is a point in a biography of Edward VI, not much to say about someone about who never reached his majority to rule in his own right and died at age 15, with all the great events in his reign being done by someone else in his name.

But, outside of England, I think I might read more about the Reformation, in general, than you have, including several general histories. and multiple biographies of Luther and Calvin. I even read books that are dedicated to discussing only part of their lives, such as 'Luther's Last Battles' which covers the last 10 years of his life, and 'Young Man Calvin' which covers everything up to his move to Geneva, in short, these two books go into depth about events that nearly every text passes over in silence, or close to it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:08 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Doom wrote:
I'm sure you've read far more than I have on the issue, if only because you've been at it longer, but I'm catching up. In the last 2 years, I've read four books on the Tudors, one book on the Plantagenets, and two books on the Wars of the Roses. Having read biographies of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, I just need a biography of Mary I to finish it off. I don't know if there is a point in a biography of Edward VI, not much to say about someone about who never reached his majority to rule in his own right and died at age 15, with all the great events in his reign being done by someone else in his name.

But, outside of England, I think I might read more about the Reformation, in general, than you have, including several general histories. and multiple biographies of Luther and Calvin. I even read books that are dedicated to discussing only part of their lives, such as 'Luther's Last Battles' which covers the last 10 years of his life, and 'Young Man Calvin' which covers everything up to his move to Geneva, in short, these two books go into depth about events that nearly every text passes over in silence, or close to it.



I'm sure you do read more, as to the 16th century goings on, outside the British Isles. I have little interest there. I have maybe 25 general histories of the period, multiple bios of Luther, and other flotsam and jetsam. OTOH, Total Tudor and late 15th & early 17th century related stuff on hand is maybe 200. I've been at my major hobby horses longer, and with a far greater ...manic obsession. No, I've not read them all. But I've used practically all, in part at least, to chase threads of topics of interest through the various authors. I commend your good beginning. Don't stop now. Get bios of everyone you can. Mary Tudor is not easy to get, casually (which is how I buy Tudor material now, the flame burns that low). I only have 2 for her, 1 for Pappa Hank VII, one for baby Edward, etc. And as you know, there are three large bios of Hank stacked in the ready locker, latest being Bernard's. Eventually something will click, and I'll start reading this again. But right now it's Lewis (last month it was primarily Oppenheimer). And then I bet I'll have to dig into the Chesterton commentaries to say something useful about TMWWT, when I can find time. There's an Ignatius Press Collected Chesterton volume due in in a day or two. I hadn't realized I had not bought the last volume of his collected ILN columns. Which meant I didn't own the one that was his very last such, in which he again mentions TMWWT . Can't have that. Someone might ask what that book means.

So keep up the good work. You're young yet (though I was far younger when the fever hit). There's time for you to get a totally unnecessary number of tomes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:07 pm 
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King of Cool

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GKC wrote:
I'm sure you do read more, as to the 16th-century goings on, outside the British Isles. I have little interest there. I have maybe 25 general histories of the period, multiple bios of Luther, and other flotsam and jetsam. OTOH, Total Tudor and late 15th & early 17th century related stuff on hand is maybe 200. I've been at my major hobby horses longer, and with a far greater ...manic obsession. No, I've not read them all. But I've used practically all, in part at least, to chase threads of topics of interest through the various authors. I commend your good beginning. Don't stop now. Get bios of everyone you can. Mary Tudor is not easy to get, casually (which is how I buy Tudor material now, the flame burns that low). I only have 2 for her, 1 for Pappa Hank VII, one for baby Edward, etc. And as you know, there are three large bios of Hank stacked in the ready locker, latest being Bernard's. Eventually, something will click, and I'll start reading this again. But right now it's Lewis (last month it was primarily Oppenheimer). And then I bet I'll have to dig into the Chesterton commentaries to say something useful about TMWWT when I can find the time. There's an Ignatius Press Collected Chesterton volume due in a day or two. I hadn't realized I had not bought the last volume of his collected ILN columns. Which meant I didn't own the one that was his very last such, in which he again mentions TMWWT. Can't have that. Someone might ask what that book means.

So keep up the good work. You're young yet (though I was far younger when the fever hit). There's time for you to get a totally unnecessary number of tomes.


Oh, I already own more books that I can possibly hope to read in one lifetime, just not Tudor related stuff. At the beginning of this year, I counted all the books on my Kindle that I have never read, and it was 104, and I made the commitment that I wouldn't buy any new books until I got at least some of then read, but I haven't been able to stick with that resolution. So far this year, I've read 21 books, and I'm almost finished with my 22, of those 22, 18 of them are new books that I have bought since January. I haven't counted recently, but I'm sure the number of unread books is now greater than it was 4 months ago.

In the lack of a good biography of Mary I, I am hoping that Alison Weir's 'The Children of Henry VIII' will provide at least some insight.

I am not interested in an apologetic defending Mary, per se, but I do think that her story is usually only ever told through the eyes of Protestants of the Elizabethan era, in which she is portrayed as 'evil' to distinguish her from the supposedly heroic and noble 'Virgin Queen'. I want to try to understand her on her own terms. Even 450 and more years after the fact, Tudor era propaganda still has a powerful hold on the popular imagination and most of the so-called 'common knowledge' about that era reflects that propaganda, from the supposed 'evil' of Richard III to the 'evil' of Mary I.

As a king who began his reign with very little real 'legitimacy' by way of a blood claim, since there were no fewer than 6 other Plantagenets that had a stronger claim to the throne that he did, Henry VII needed propaganda more than most other kings to get the public behind his reign, and he created a propaganda machine to rival Napoleon Bonaparte or modern dictators like Hitler or Stalin, and the propaganda continued into the Elizabethan era, and even though professional scholars were long ago able to discern truth from myth, in the popular mind, the Tudor mythology is still alive and well.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:
I'm sure you do read more, as to the 16th-century goings on, outside the British Isles. I have little interest there. I have maybe 25 general histories of the period, multiple bios of Luther, and other flotsam and jetsam. OTOH, Total Tudor and late 15th & early 17th century related stuff on hand is maybe 200. I've been at my major hobby horses longer, and with a far greater ...manic obsession. No, I've not read them all. But I've used practically all, in part at least, to chase threads of topics of interest through the various authors. I commend your good beginning. Don't stop now. Get bios of everyone you can. Mary Tudor is not easy to get, casually (which is how I buy Tudor material now, the flame burns that low). I only have 2 for her, 1 for Pappa Hank VII, one for baby Edward, etc. And as you know, there are three large bios of Hank stacked in the ready locker, latest being Bernard's. Eventually, something will click, and I'll start reading this again. But right now it's Lewis (last month it was primarily Oppenheimer). And then I bet I'll have to dig into the Chesterton commentaries to say something useful about TMWWT when I can find the time. There's an Ignatius Press Collected Chesterton volume due in a day or two. I hadn't realized I had not bought the last volume of his collected ILN columns. Which meant I didn't own the one that was his very last such, in which he again mentions TMWWT. Can't have that. Someone might ask what that book means.

So keep up the good work. You're young yet (though I was far younger when the fever hit). There's time for you to get a totally unnecessary number of tomes.


Oh, I already own more books that I can possibly hope to read in one lifetime, just not Tudor related stuff. At the beginning of this year, I counted all the books on my Kindle that I have never read, and it was 104, and I made the commitment that I wouldn't buy any new books until I got at least some of then read, but I haven't been able to stick with that resolution. So far this year, I've read 21 books, and I'm almost finished with my 22, of those 22, 18 of them are new books that I have bought since January. I haven't counted recently, but I'm sure the number of unread books is now greater than it was 4 months ago.

In the lack of a good biography of Mary I, I am hoping that Alison Weir's 'The Children of Henry VIII' will provide at least some insight.

I am not interested in an apologetic defending Mary, per se, but I do think that her story is usually only ever told through the eyes of Protestants of the Elizabethan era, in which she is portrayed as 'evil' to distinguish her from the supposedly heroic and noble 'Virgin Queen'. I want to try to understand her on her own terms. Even 450 and more years after the fact, Tudor era propaganda still has a powerful hold on the popular imagination and most of the so-called 'common knowledge' about that era reflects that propaganda, from the supposed 'evil' of Richard III to the 'evil' of Mary I.

As a king who began his reign with very little real 'legitimacy' by way of a blood claim, since there were no fewer than 6 other Plantagenets that had a stronger claim to the throne that he did, Henry VII needed propaganda more than most other kings to get the public behind his reign, and he created a propaganda machine to rival Napoleon Bonaparte or modern dictators like Hitler or Stalin, and the propaganda continued into the Elizabethan era, and even though professional scholars were long ago able to discern truth from myth, in the popular mind, the Tudor mythology is still alive and well.


You worry me. 104 books you haven't read? A pittance. This is the position of a dilettante.

Try Froude's bio. He's his usual contrarian.

OTOH, I agree with your last para. Remember to read around the subject, for a solid understanding.

Wonder what gherkin might say that I will agree with.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Y'all embarrass me. Just about all I know about the English monarchy I've learned from Shakespeare.

There are those who have hinted to me that occasionally Shakespeare gets the history moderately incorrect. :shock: :shock: :shock: :fyi:

(I know he did get St. Joan wrong. But apart from that?)

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:39 pm 
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King of Cool

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GKC wrote:

You worry me. 104 books you haven't read? A pittance. This is the position of a dilettante.

Try Froude's bio. He's his usual contrarian.

OTOH, I agree with your last para. Remember to read around the subject, for a solid understanding.

Wonder what gherkin might say that I will agree with.


104 on my Kindle, which is a fraction of my total collection. That collection only goes back as far 2013, I have more than 400 books on my Kindle, the 104 are the ones I haven't read yet, that includes some major titles such as Watership Down, The Chronicles of Prydain, the complete Father Brown and the complete fiction of George MacDonald.

Froude's biography of whom? Queen Mary? I guess I could look that name up.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:49 pm 
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King of Cool

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gherkin wrote:
Y'all embarrass me. Just about all I know about the English monarchy I've learned from Shakespeare.

There are those who have hinted to me that occasionally Shakespeare gets the history moderately incorrect. :shock: :shock: :shock: :fyi:

(I know he did get St. Joan wrong. But apart from that?)



Coincidentally, I just got a question in Trivia Crack (a mobile game which is basically a mobile version of Trivial Pursuit) asking what was the name of Henry VIII's chief minister from 1532-1540, the answer, as I knew, was Thomas Cromwell.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:

You worry me. 104 books you haven't read? A pittance. This is the position of a dilettante.

Try Froude's bio. He's his usual contrarian.

OTOH, I agree with your last para. Remember to read around the subject, for a solid understanding.

Wonder what gherkin might say that I will agree with.


104 on my Kindle, which is a fraction of my total collection. That collection only goes back as far 2013, I have more than 400 books on my Kindle, the 104 are the ones I haven't read yet, that includes some major titles such as Watership Down, The Chronicles of Prydain, the complete Father Brown and the complete fiction of George MacDonald.

Froude's biography of whom? Queen Mary? I guess I could look that name up.


Of Mary.

Still, my stash of unread treasures runs into the many thousands. Stored for a rainy day. You can't win on this.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
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And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:56 pm 
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Doom wrote:
gherkin wrote:
Y'all embarrass me. Just about all I know about the English monarchy I've learned from Shakespeare.

There are those who have hinted to me that occasionally Shakespeare gets the history moderately incorrect. :shock: :shock: :shock: :fyi:

(I know he did get St. Joan wrong. But apart from that?)



Coincidentally, I just got a question in Trivia Crack (a mobile game which is basically a mobile version of Trivial Pursuit) asking what was the name of Henry VIII's chief minister from 1532-1540, the answer, as I knew, was Thomas Cromwell.



Books are wonderful.

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:57 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
Y'all embarrass me. Just about all I know about the English monarchy I've learned from Shakespeare.

There are those who have hinted to me that occasionally Shakespeare gets the history moderately incorrect. :shock: :shock: :shock: :fyi:

(I know he did get St. Joan wrong. But apart from that?)


Oh, this wouldn't be limited to English history. The idea is, if I agree with Doom on something, I'm likely to agree with you on something. One is as dangerous as the other.

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:22 pm 
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GKC wrote:
You can't win on this.


Of course, I can't, you started your collections before I was even born. But to have accumulated more than 400 books in only 5 years, of which I've read about 3/4 of them, come on, that's pretty good. I started my Goodreads account in 2013, Goodreads is a kind of social media platform for people to keep track of the books they read. I've been tracking since 2013, and currently, it says I have read 381 books, just since 2013. An average of more than 60 a year, some of them pretty long. And with audiobooks, I can sometimes finish 2-3 titles in a single week.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:
You can't win on this.


Of course, I can't, you started your collections before I was even born. But to have accumulated more than 400 books in only 5 years, of which I've read about 3/4 of them, come on, that's pretty good. I started my Goodreads account in 2013, Goodreads is a kind of social media platform for people to keep track of the books they read. I've been tracking since 2013, and currently, it says I have read 381 books, just since 2013. An average of more than 60 a year, some of them pretty long. And with audiobooks, I can sometimes finish 2-3 titles in a single week.


An award of one gold star. Not shabby at all. A rough match for my current reading level.

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:50 pm 
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GKC wrote:
The idea is, if I agree with Doom on something, I'm likely to agree with you on something. One is as dangerous as the other.

I'm glad you recognize the dangers involved here. Tread warily!

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:02 am 
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King of Cool

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Truthfully, I'm surprised how much I am able to remember, I may not be able to remember where I put my coffee cup five minutes ago, but I can remember mathematical definitions and theorems that I haven't used in 10 years, and I can remember an astonishing number of historical names, places, and events with almost instant recall.

I recently read Diarmuid McCullough's book titled simply 'The Reformation' which is a massive text, about 1200 pages in paperback. He starts about the 13th century and continues into the 18th century and covers the history of the Reformation in England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, Romania. and even North America.

Reading the reviews on Amazon, there were a lot of complaints that the book is too dense and too scholarly, naming literally hundreds of people as if we are supposed to know who they were because he makes little attempt to explain who they were to his readers. I, however, recognized every single name in the text, from the obvious ones like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Charles V, Erasmus, Henry VIII, and Johann Eck, but also less well knows figures like Oecolampadius, Cochealus, Martin Chemnitz, Bucer, Bullinger, Savonarola, Contarini, George Fox, Michael Servetus, Frederick I, Francis I, and many others.

I end up being surprised at how accessible the book was to me, and I started wondering why anyone found it difficult until I remembered that most readers had probably never read anything about the Reformation before this book, and so for them instead of finding the names and events to be familiar rehashes of stuff they already knew, the book was a flood of previously unknown names, places, and events that they probably had difficulty keeping straight. After all, if you're suddenly confronted with about 1500 names you've never heard before, it can be a little intimidating.


Anyway, that is a great book, at least for the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the text, when it kind of falls apart and he starts getting opinionated.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:09 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
GKC wrote:
The idea is, if I agree with Doom on something, I'm likely to agree with you on something. One is as dangerous as the other.

I'm glad you recognize the dangers involved here. Tread warily!


Facilis descensus Averno

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:23 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Doom wrote:
Truthfully, I'm surprised how much I am able to remember, I may not be able to remember where I put my coffee cup five minutes ago, but I can remember mathematical definitions and theorems that I haven't used in 10 years, and I can remember an astonishing number of historical names, places, and events with almost instant recall.

I recently read Diarmuid McCullough's book titled simply 'The Reformation' which is a massive text, about 1200 pages in paperback. He starts about the 13th century and continues into the 18th century and covers the history of the Reformation in England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, Romania. and even North America.

Reading the reviews on Amazon, there were a lot of complaints that the book is too dense and too scholarly, naming literally hundreds of people as if we are supposed to know who they were because he makes little attempt to explain who they were to his readers. I, however, recognized every single name in the text, from the obvious ones like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Charles V, Erasmus, Henry VIII, and Johann Eck, but also less well knows figures like Oecolampadius, Cochealus, Martin Chemnitz, Bucer, Bullinger, Savonarola, Contarini, George Fox, Michael Servetus, Frederick I, Francis I, and many others.

I end up being surprised at how accessible the book was to me, and I started wondering why anyone found it difficult until I remembered that most readers had probably never read anything about the Reformation before this book, and so for them instead of finding the names and events to be familiar rehashes of stuff they already knew, the book was a flood of previously unknown names, places, and events that they probably had difficulty keeping straight. After all, if you're suddenly confronted with about 1500 names you've never heard before, it can be a little intimidating.


Anyway, that is a great book, at least for the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the text, when it kind of falls apart and he starts getting opinionated.


I haven't read McCullough. But I've read the parts that pertain to my interests (which is not the reformation in toto) and the book serves as a quick reference to anything else I might want to look up. And yes, it's full of familiar names, some of which engage me more than others. Those I buy more books on. It never ends.

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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:17 pm 
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He's good on the history, but bad on the theology, especially when it comes to the key doctrines of the Reformation, namely The Eucharist and predestination.

For example, he keeps saying that Catholics and Lutherans both believe that Christ is 'physically or corporeally' present in the Eucharist when anyone who has been through a Theology 101 course ought to know that it is completely WRONG, the correct term is 'sacramentally present', which is distinct from a physical or corporeal presence. The fact that McCullough keeps referring to the 'physical' presence of Christ in the Eucharist leads me to think that despite his great learning, he doesn't really understand Transubstantiation. And yet, even though he repeatedly, and incorrectly, refers to the Catholic belief in the 'physical' presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he also, quite bizarrely, always refers to the consecrated elements as simply 'bread and wine.'

These are amateurism errors for a scholar of this magnitude.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reformation.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Doom wrote:
He's good on the history, but bad on the theology, especially when it comes to the key doctrines of the Reformation, namely The Eucharist and predestination.

For example, he keeps saying that Catholics and Lutherans both believe that Christ is 'physically or corporeally' present in the Eucharist when anyone who has been through a Theology 101 course ought to know that it is completely WRONG, the correct term is 'sacramentally present', which is distinct from a physical or corporeal presence. The fact that McCullough keeps referring to the 'physical' presence of Christ in the Eucharist leads me to think that despite his great learning, he doesn't really understand Transubstantiation. And yet, even though he repeatedly, and incorrectly, refers to the Catholic belief in the 'physical' presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he also, quite bizarrely, always refers to the consecrated elements as simply 'bread and wine.'

These are amateurism errors for a scholar of this magnitude.


No memory of that, which shows my scanty use of the book.

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