Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance circa 1537: Lutheran Sacramental Penance
By the late 1530s, Thomas Cranmer adopted a Protestant Augustinian understanding of justification, the assertion of righteousness sola fide parallel with imparting the internal presence of the Holy Spirit. Through redefining the sacrament of penance in Lutheran terms, Cranmer was able to promote solifidianism despite the pressures of the Henrician era. Cranmer made harsh remarks about Hugh Payne's preaching and consequently, these remarks were taken as threats to the Henrician regime and have proved how far he had moved away from Fisher's sacramentalism. Cranmer then denied the notion that Christians could fully please God in their own person, instead, justification concerned being ‘righteous’ for Christ's sake. Cranmer presented the following reasons for opposing the accepted doctrine: 1) human merit contradicts St Paul's teaching on grace, 2) such teaching undermined true faith and 3) any commendable role for human effort brought down Christ's glory.
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