During the Reformation period many of the fiercest debates centered on the nature of authority. These covered every aspect of Christian faith and life. The authority of scripture; the authority on which disputed points of faith and order could be decided; the authorizing of ministry in the Church; the efficacy of the sacraments, were all contested. Such issues are shown by the author of this study to remain ecumenically significant, both because it proved impossible at the time to resolve them to everyone's satisfaction, and because they continued to represent the focus of mutual hostility among the separated churches.
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