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Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category

»Theologian of Sin and Grace. The Process of Radicalization in the Theology of Matthias Flacius Illyricus«

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978-3-525-10117-9Luka Ilic: »Theologian of Sin and Grace. The Process of Radicalization in the Theology of Matthias Flacius Illyricus«

In this work, the author establishes that Flacius’ theology became increasingly radicalized with time and examines aspects of this process through following two parallel tracks. One trajectory focuses on the development of Flacius’ theological thought, while the other one discusses the pivotal influences and major turning points in his life, such as being exiled from different cities. (More information).

The kind folk at V&R have ‘done me a solid’ (as the kids say) and sent along a copy for review.  I’ve scanned the table of contents and it looks really, really interesting.   More anon.

Written by Jim

July 23, 2014 at 13:34

Church History: It’s Such an Amazingly Fascinating Field

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Three new volumes from Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht are proof that the field is experiencing a real renaissance-

Ryan M. McGraw: »A Heavenly Directory. Trinitarian Piety, Public Worship and a Reassessment of John Owen’s Theology«

There is a growing body of historical literature on the importance of John Owen. Ryan M. McGraw seeks to reassess Owen’s theology in light of the way in which he connected his trinitarian piety to his views of public worship. (More information)

Luka Ilic: »Theologian of Sin and Grace. The Process of Radicalization in the Theology of Matthias Flacius Illyricus«

In this work, the author establishes that Flacius’ theology became increasingly radicalized with time and examines aspects of this process through following two parallel tracks. One trajectory focuses on the development of Flacius’ theological thought, while the other one discusses the pivotal influences and major turning points in his life, such as being exiled from different cities. (More information)

Claudio Moreschini: »A Christian in Toga. Boethius: Interpreter of Antiquity and Christian Theologian«

The author presents Boethius in the culture of the sixth century in Italy, outlines his great cultural project and discusses the problem of his Christian faith. (More information)

Written by Jim

July 22, 2014 at 12:42

Remembering The Giants

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B. Rhenanus died on the 20th of July in 1547. Unfortunately his name is scarcely known these days but in his own he was tremendously important, significant, and influential. Rhenanus was one of Zwingli’s closest University friends and while in Basel, sent Zwingli many of Luther’s works (which were being printed there).

Though more Humanist than Reformer (he was very close to Erasmus*), Rhenanus was still a valuable member of Zwingli’s inner circle.

Oskar Farner published an interesting essay in 1913 about Zwingli’s ‘becoming’ a Reformer and in it he naturally brings up Rhenanus.  Give it a read.

*In his will, Erasmus left various items to various family and friends. Rhenanus included-

A considerable time ago I sold my library to John à Lasco, Baron of Poland, but by the contract made between us, the books are not to be delivered to him except on payment to my heir of 200 florins. If he refuse to accede to these conditions, or dies before me, it shall be free to my heir to dispose of the books as he may think proper. To Louis Berus I bequeath my gold watch; to Beatus Rhenanus my gold cup and my gold fork; to Peter Vetereus 150 gold crowns; and as many to Philip Montanus. To my servant Lambert, should he be in my service at my decease, I bequeath 200 gold florins, unless I shall have paid him that sum in my lifetime. I bequeath to John Brisch my silver bottle; to Paul Volzius 100 gold florins; to Sigismund Telenius 150 ducats; to John Erasmus Froben two rings, the one without a stone, and the turquoise. I bequeath to John Froben all my clothes and all my furniture, in wool, linen, or wood, also my cup engraved with the arms of the Cardinal of Maintz; and to his wife the ring with the figure of a woman looking behind her.

Written by Jim

July 20, 2014 at 08:29

Posted in Church History

Paul Schneider Remembered

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If you aren’t familiar with him, you can learn all about him in this book-

Paul Schneider (1897-1939) was a German Reformed pastor, father of six, and part of the Bekennende Kirche during World War II. Schneider’s unequivocal opposition to the quickly ascending Nazi regime led to his imprisonment, torture and eventual execution at the hands of the Gestapo on July 18, 1939. Until now, Pastor Schneider’s story has remained less accessible to English-speaking audiences. This authoritative biography of Paul Schneider by Rudolf Wentorf appears here for the first time in an unabridged English translation by Daniel Bloesch.

Unlike Bonhoeffer, he upheld the faith without entering into a pact to kill anyone.


Written by Jim

July 19, 2014 at 10:09

Das Karlstadt-Bild in der Forschung

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153175_a587cd3c42MARTIN KESSLE- Das Karlstadt-Bild in der Forschung

Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt (1486-1541) war der erste Wittenberger Kollege Martin Luthers, der akademisch und publizistisch für diesen eintrat. Zugleich war er der erste, der sich mit ihm überwarf. Entsprechend ambivalent wird seit jeher Karlstadts Bedeutung für die Reformation bestimmt. War er bei manchen der prototypische Verräter an der reformatorischen Einheit, wurde er bei anderen zur Identifikationsfigur für reformierte, kongregationalistische oder täuferische Elemente in der frühen Wittenberger Reformation. Martin Keßler unterstreicht die Dringlichkeit einer grundlegenden Revision des Karlstadt-Bildes, indem er die wesentlichen Beiträge zu Karlstadt seit dem 17. Jahrhundert schildert und die Hauptentwicklungen der historischen und theologischen Forschung des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts untersucht.

Another interesting sounding volume!

Written by Jim

July 18, 2014 at 10:33

Posted in Books, Church History

Conference Announcement

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Workshop in Honour of Professor Tom Scott

To honour Professor Scott’s contribution to Reformation studies, the Reformation Studies Institute of the University of St Andrews will host a workshop on 31st October / 1st November 2014.


Written by Jim

July 18, 2014 at 07:14


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Written by Jim

July 16, 2014 at 20:47

Posted in Church History

Christianity in Exile, And The Place of the Reformed Perspective

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Carl Trueman has a grand essay in First Things which you ought to read.  In the midst, he notes

Reformed Christianity is best equipped to help us in our exile. That faith was forged on the European continent in the lives and writings of such men as Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and John Calvin. It found its finest expression in the Anglophone world in the great Scottish Presbyterians and English Puritans of the seventeenth century. It possesses the intellectual rigor necessary for teaching and defending the faith in a hostile environment. It has a strong tradition of reflecting in depth upon the difference between that which is essential and that which, though good, is inessential and thus dispensable. It has a historical identity rooted in the wider theological teachings of the Church. It has deep resources for thinking clearly about the relationship of Church and state.

Read what comes before and what comes after.

Written by Jim

July 15, 2014 at 15:36

Posted in Church History

“Die Wahrheit ist untödlich – Martyrium und Protestantismus”

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„Die Wahrheit ist untödlich – Martyrium und Protestantismus“, lautet der Titel einer gemeinschaftlichen Ausstellung, die die Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, das Ostfriesische Landesmuseum Emden und die Mennonitengemeinde Emden/Norden in Zusammenarbeit mit der Universität Oldenburg vom 26. Juli bis zum 31. Oktober 2014 präsentieren.

See more here-

Written by Jim

July 15, 2014 at 13:31

Posted in Church History

Today With Zwingli

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On 14 July, 1523 Huldrych Zwingli published the very lengthy very enlightening and very important ‘Auslegen und Gründe der Schlußreden’.  Zwingli’s 67 Articles are here filled out thoroughly.

Of the 67 Articles, Schaff writes

They were prepared for a public disputation held January 29, 1523, in the city of Zurich, where Zwingli was chief pastor from 1519, and were victoriously defended by him, in the presence of the civil magistrate and about six hundred persons, against Dr. Faber, the General Vicar of the Bishop of Constance, who appeared to superintend the meeting rather than to defend the old doctrines, and was unwilling or unable to answer the arguments of a learned and powerful opponent. The magistrate passed a resolution on the same day approving of Zwingli’s position, and requiring all the ministers of the canton to preach nothing but what they could prove from the holy gospel. A second disputation followed in October, on the use of images and the mass, before about nine hundred persons, including three hundred priests and delegates from different cantons; a third disputation took place in January, 1524. The result was the emancipation from popery, and the orderly and permanent establishment of the Reformed Church in the city and canton of Zurich.

These Articles resemble the Ninety-five Theses of Luther, which opened the drama of the Reformation in Germany, October 31, 1517, but they mark a considerable advance in Protestant conviction. They are full of Christ, as the only Saviour and Mediator, and clearly recognize the Word of God as the only rule of faith. They attack the primacy of the Pope, the mass, the invocation of saints, the meritoriousness of human works, fasts, pilgrimages, celibacy, and purgatory, as unscriptural traditions of men. They are short, and, in this respect, like the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, better adapted for a creed than the lengthy confessions of that age. But they never had more than local authority. We give a few specimens:

1. All who say that the gospel is nothing without the approbation of the Church, err and cast reproach upon God.
2. The sum of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, has made known to us the will of his heavenly Father, and redeemed us by his innocence from eternal death, and reconciled us to God.
3. Therefore Christ is the only way to salvation for all who were, who are, and who shall be.
4. Whosoever seeks or shows another door, errs—yea, is a murderer of souls and a robber.
7. Christ is the Head of all believers.
8. All who live in this Head are his members and children of God. And this is the true Catholic Church, the communion of saints.
15. Who believes the gospel shall be saved; who believeth not shall be damned. For in the gospel the whole truth is clearly contained.
16. From the gospel we learn that the doctrines and traditions of men are of no use to salvation.
17. Christ is the one eternal high-priest.
18. Christ, who offered himself once on the cross, is the sufficient and perpetual sacrifice for the sins of all believers. Therefore the mass is no sacrifice, but a commemoration of the one sacrifice of the cross and a seal of the redemption through Christ.
19. Christ is the only Mediator between God and us.
22. Christ is our righteousness. From this it follows that our works are good so far as they are Christ’s, but not good so far as they are our own.
24. Christians are not bound to any works which Christ has not commanded.
26. Nothing is more displeasing to God than hypocrisy.
27. All Christians are brethren.
34. The power of the Pope and the Bishops has no foundation in the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine of Christ.
49. I know of no greater scandal than the prohibition of lawful marriage to priests, while they are permitted for money to have concubines. Shame! (Pfui der Schande!)
50. God alone forgives sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord alone.
57. The Holy Scripture knows nothing of a purgatory after this life.*

The explanation of the Articles is terribly important, and fortunately, is available in English.

*The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The History of Creeds (Vol. 1, pp. 363–364).

Written by Jim

July 14, 2014 at 11:39

Posted in Church History, Zwingli


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