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We praise you for your mercy, your goodness and your unfailing love.
Throughout the ages, countless peoples have given testimony of your grace and mercy.
Essentially, Protestantism is characterised by emphasis on the Bible as the sole source of infallible truth and the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone (These are known as the formal and material causes of the Reformation respectively).
In addition, Protestants have traditionally encouraged private interpretation of the scriptures by individuals rather than relying on the interpretation of the church (as is the case, for example in Roman Catholicism with its Magisterium, or teaching authority).
Sometimes by the term ‘church’ it means that which is actually in God’s presence, into which no persons are received but those who are children of God by grace of adoption and true members of Christ by sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
Protestantism continues to shape and influence Christianity in the modern world. Particularly in the last 30 years or so, the growth of the ecumenical movement has led to new ways by which Christians of all denominations can engage in dialogue and work together in proclaiming the gospel. The Diet voted to end the toleration of those who followed the teachings of Martin Luther within Germany, which had previously been granted at the first Diet in 1526.
The core of Protestant teaching lies within the Five (Latin: ‘Alone’), which provide a summary of Protestant theology.
This concept, which could possibly be traced back to the 4th century writings of Augustine of Hippo, was developed by John Calvin among others.
It stood in contrast to the Roman Catholic church, which insisted on a visible unity, under the headship of the Pope.