Among Protestant churches again there are minor doctrinal differences, which are held with various degrees of exclusiveness or liberality according to the degree of departure from the Roman Catholic Church.
These doctrinal interpretations introduce the economy of blinding the Jews into the parabolic teaching; the declaration as to the redemptive character of the Passion into the sayings; the sacramental, institutional words into the account of the Last Supper, originally, a solemnly simple Messianic meal; and the formal night-trial before Caiaphas into the original Passion-story with its informal, morning decision by Caiaphas, and its one solemn condemnation of Jesus, by Pilate.
With the truth or falsehood of these doctrines we are not here concerned; but that the revived vestments are chiefly valued because of their doctrinal significance the clergy who use them would be the last to deny.
The Formula of Concord (1577),which gave to the whole Lutheran Church of Germany a common doctrinal system, declined to accept the Calvinistic position that man's condemnation as well as his salvation is an object of divine predestination.
Luther was no systematic thinker; Melanchthon, the theologian of the Lutheran Church, gave his system, the loose form of Loci communes, and went back more and more in successive editions to the traditional lines of doctrinal theory - a course which could not be followed without bringing back much of the older substance along with the familiar forms of thought.
He found their religious life too formal, external and worldly; and they could not sanction his comparative indifference to doctrinal correctness and his incurable tendency to separatism in church life.
Liturgical reforms were set on foot before an attempt was made to systematize doctrinal teaching.
As an author he is characterized by doctrinal exposition of a high order, judiciousness of criticism, and lucidity of arrangement, style and language.
According to Peter the Venerable, Henry's teaching is summed up as follows: rejection of the doctrinal and disciplinary authority of the church; recognition of the Gospel freely interpreted as the sole rule of faith; condemnation of the baptism of infants, of the eucharist, of the sacrifice of the mass, of the communion of saints, and of prayers for the dead; and refusal to recognize any form of worship or liturgy.
Nevertheless his reputation was so great that he was accepted as an arbitrator in doctrinal disputes amongst the reformers.