Session 2 Reflection Paper
THE 112 – Introduction to Theology
January 10th, 2012
Chapter 15, Question 1. Why, according to Cyprian’s theology, does he say that the evil the Devil can do to the Church through schism is much worse that what he can do through Roman persecutions? Religiously, a schism is a division between people belonging to an organization that was considered a single body. For St. Cyprian, the unity of the Church is essentially visible. The established unity that cannot be lost is not only unity of faith but also unity of hierarchy. Separating from the Church does not diminish the unity of the Church’s faith, but diminishes one’s own involvement in that unity. Without the Church’s protection, the devil “devised a fresh deceit, using the Christian name itself to mislead the unwary. He invented heresies and schisms in order to undermine the faith, corrupt the truth, and destroy our unity. Those whom he has failed to keep in the blindness of their old ways he beguiles and misleads….they still call themselves Christians after abandoning the Gospel of Christ and the observance of his law.” Cyprian feels that separating from the Church is separating from the faith, therefore leading to the Christian belief of eternal damnation. His evidence of these ideas was what the Lord says to Peter, “….I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not overcome it.” This is why he believed the first church was protected and could also provide protection. The Roman’s persecution of Christians on the other hand was simply death. If you truly believed in Christ, you would still be claimed as Christ’s. You would also be ascended into Heaven after your human death. In his eyes, this was unlike schism because separation was unforgivable and therefore damning, and Satan was able to take your soul for his own. Chapter 16, Question 3. In churches throughout the world some version of this creed is recited or sung every Sunday of the...