Thursday, April 20, 2023

Pre-Reformation Opposition To Praying To Saints And Angels

I want to provide a list of some of the relevant pre-Reformation sources. I'll list them in alphabetical order, and I'll provide a link to one post on each source. Some of these sources are discussed in more than one post. Hippolytus often comes up in discussions of how the early Christians viewed prayer, for example, and I've written multiple posts about Hippolytus' views, but I'll only be linking to one of those posts here. If you want more information on any of these sources, you can search our archives for other relevant material. I expect to be updating this post, including the list below, periodically.

Before I provide the list, I want to address some background issues. I'm not trying to be exhaustive here, but I want to make some preliminary comments that should help in the process of sorting through the evidence.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Claudius Of Turin's Opposition To Prayer To The Saints In The Ninth Century

The historian Philip Schaff wrote the following about the views of Claudius, a bishop of Turin in the ninth century:

"The departed saints themselves do not wish to be worshipped by us, and cannot help us. While we live, we may aid each other by prayers, but not after death." (section 105 here)

The historian Nick Needham wrote:

"Scholars once thought Agobard was the author of Concerning Images, an attack on image-worship which anticipated many of the concerns of the Protestant Reformation, rejecting the practice of invoking the saints, and exalting Christ as the only Mediator between God and humankind, the sole object of religious trust. However, modern scholars now doubt whether Agobard wrote this - the real author was probably bishop Claudius of Turin (died 827), another distinguished Carolingian scholar." (2000 Years Of Christ's Power, Vol. 2: The Middle Ages [United Kingdom: Christian Focus, 2016], approximate Kindle location 1136)

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Opposition To Praying To Saints And Angels Among The Pre-Reformation Waldensians

They weren't consistent in all of their beliefs, and different Waldensians have held different views of prayer, but many of them opposed praying to saints and angels to one degree or another. That includes opposition to those practices during the Waldensian movement's pre-Reformation years. In a book on the Waldensians, the historian Gabriel Audisio writes: