Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Adiaphoristic Controversies

I. A dispute which arose in 1548 among the Lutheran reformers. The Augsburg Interim (q.v.) gave great offense to the Lutherans, as well as to the pope. Melancthon, Camerarius, Bugenhagen, and other divines were summoned by the Elector Maurice of Saxony to consider how far the Interim might be adopted in Germany. They decided that in "things indifferent" (in rebus adiaphoris) the emperor might be obeyed; and they prepared the "Leipsic Interim," as a formula concordice and rule, especially, for the churches of Saxony. While it professed to yield no point of Protestant faith, it admitted the use of some of the Roman ceremonies, e.g. confirmation, use of candles, gowns, holidays, etc., matters which Melancthon considered adiaphora. The strict Lutherans charged their opponents (and justly) with Romanizing, not merely in things indifferent, but also in matters of faith; e.g. with granting that the pope is head of the Church, even though not jure divino; allowing that there are seven sacraments; admitting the use of extreme unction, and of other ceremonies. The controversy was continued with great bitterness until the adoption of the Augsburg Formula Concordia, 1555; but the topics of the Interim afforded matter for internecine strife among the Protestant theologians long after. See, generally, Schmid, Controversia de Adiophoris (Jen. 1807). Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 16, § 3, pt. 2, ch. 1; Planck, Geschichte den Protestant. Theol. 1, p. 151-248; 3, p. 801-804, addit. on second Adiaphor. Controversy; Hase, Ch. Hist. § 348, 351. (See FLACIUS); (See INTERIM); (See MELANCTHON); (See SYNERGISTIC CONTROVERSY).

II. A second controversy, called "Adiaphoristic," arose among the Pietists and their opponents. The former urged an abandonment of such secular amusements as dancing, playing (especially at cards), joking, visiting theaters, etc. (See PIETISM).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Adiaphoristic Controversies'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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