Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category
Bugenhagen had written Zwingli asking him to clarify his view of the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and on the 23rd of October in 1525 Zwingli obliged with his Responsio ad epistolam Ioannis Bugenhagii.
Peppered with Scriptural proofs, Zwingli shows Bugenhagen in meticulous detail why ‘hoc est’ in the celebration of the body of Christ in the Supper should be understood “significat”. ‘This signifies my body…’ etc.
Here’s a fun section:
Sic ergo didicimus, urgente nos rudium cura, qui non bene norunt, quid tropus significet, quomodo ista vox “est” debeat pro “significat” accipi. Videbam τροπικῶς dictum esse “hoc est corpus meum” [Luc. 22. 19], sed in qua voce tropus lateret, non videbam. Ibi dei munere factum est, ut duo quidam et pii et docti homines, quorum etiamnum tacebo nomina, ad Leonem nostrum et me conferendi de hoc argumento causa venirent; cumque nostram hac in re sententiam audirent, gratias egerunt deo (suam enim ipsi celabant, quod tum non erat tutum cuique communicare, quod in hac re sentiret), ac epistolam istam cuiusdam et docti et pii Batavi, quae iam excusa est anonyma, soluta sarcina communicarunt. In ea foelicem hanc margaritam “est” pro “significat” hic accipi inveni.
Zwingli’s view persuaded many but it didn’t persuade Luther or the other Catholics of Luther’s mindset. It never could, because Luther was far too chained to his mystical past. Or, as Zwingli puts it in his colorful conclusion-
Non potest ex integro antichristus profligari, nisi et hoc errore labefactato corruat. Spectemus veri ante omnia faciem, non autoritatem hominum, quae nihil valere debet, ubi veritas illuxit.
That delightful phrase could be repeated daily concerning so many…
This is one of my favorite prophetic sermon/ acts:
Yahweh said this to me, ‘Go and buy a linen waistcloth and put it round your waist. But do not dip it in water.’ 2 And so, as Yahweh had ordered, I bought a waistcloth and put it round my waist. 3 A second time the word of Yahweh came to me, 4 ‘Take the waistcloth that you have bought and are wearing round your waist. Up, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a hole in the rock.’ 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as Yahweh had ordered me.
6 A long time later, Yahweh said to me, ‘Up, go to the Euphrates and fetch the waistcloth I ordered you to hide there.’ 7 So I went to the Euphrates, and I searched, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And there was the waistcloth ruined, no use for anything.
8 Then the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 9 ‘Yahweh says this, “In the same way I shall ruin the pride of Judah, the immense pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, these people who refuse to listen to my words, who follow their own stubborn inclinations and run after other gods, serving and worshipping them — this people will become like this waistcloth, no good for anything. 11 For just as a waistcloth clings to a man’s waist, so I made the whole House of Israel and the whole House of Judah cling to me, Yahweh declares, to be my people, my glory, my honour and my pride. But they have not listened.” (Jer 13:1-11 NJB)
Judah, by its covenant infidelity, has become nothing more than filthy stained underwear. Now that right there’s a descriptive image that would get Jeremiah called an anti-semite were he alive and preaching today. Of course he wouldn’t be, but as we all know, in these troubled times if you point out the sin of Israel, you’re an anti-semite. Apparently they have forgotten their own prophets.
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations; by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
We know that the sabbath is ceremonial, so far forth as it is joined to sacrifices and other Jewish ceremonies, and so far forth as it is tied to a certain time: but in respect that on the sabbath-day religion and true godliness are exercised and published, that a just and seemly order is kept in the church, and that the love of our neighbour is thereby preserved, therein, I say, it is perpetual, and not ceremonial.
Even at this day, verily, we must ease and bear with our family; and even at this day we must instruct our family in the true religion and fear of God. Christ our Lord did no where scatter abroad the holy congregations, but did, as much as he could, gather them together.
Now, as there ought to be an appointed place, so likewise must there be a prescribed time, for the outward exercise of religion, and so, consequently, an holy rest. They of the primitive church, therefore, did change the sabbath-day, lest, peradventure, they should have seemed to have imitated the Jews, and still to have retained their order and ceremonies; and made their assemblies and holy restings to be on the first day of sabbaths, which John calleth Sunday, or the Lord’s day, because of the Lord’s glorious resurrection upon that day.
And although we do not in any part of the apostles’ writings find any mention made that this Sunday was commanded us to be kept holy; yet, for because, in this fourth precept of the first table, we are commanded to have a care of religion and the exercising of outward godliness, it would be against all godliness and christian charity, if we should deny to sanctify the Sunday: especially, since the outward worship of God cannot consist without an appointed time and space of holy rest.*
*The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The First and Second Decades, (pp. 259–260).
In looking for patrons, every one follows his own fancy. One selects Mary, another Michael, another Peter. Christ they very seldom honour with a place in the list. Indeed there is scarcely one in a hundred who would not be amazed, as at some new prodigy, were he to hear Christ named as an intercessor. Therefore, passing Christ by, they all trust to the patronage of saints. Then superstition creeps in farther and farther, till they invoke the saints promiscuously, just as they do God. I admit, indeed, that when they desire to speak more definitely, all they ask of the saints is to assist them before God with their prayers.
But more frequently they lose this distinction, and address and implore at one time God, and at another the saints, just according to the impulse of the moment. Indeed each saint has a peculiar province allotted to him. One gives rain, another fair weather; one delivers from fever, another from shipwreck. But, to say nothing of these profane heathen delusions which everywhere prevail in churches, this one impiety may suffice for all: that, in inviting intercessors from this quarter and from that, the whole world neglects Christ, whom alone God has set forth, and confides more in the patronage of the saints than in the protection of God.*
*Calvin: Theological Treatises (p. 194).
“We believe the church, as the mother of regeneration; we do not believe in the church, as the author of salvation. He that believeth in the church, believeth in man: for man hath not his being of the church, but the church began by man. Leave off therefore this blasphemous persuasion, to think that thou hast to believe in any worldly creature; since thou mayest not believe neither in angel nor archangel.” – Paschasius
By the same token, we don’t believe ‘in’ prayer, we don’t believe ‘in’ the Bible; the object of our faith is always and ONLY God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.