Zwingli’s Road to Reformer

«Humanismus und Schlachtfelder: Zwinglis Entwicklung zum Reformator.»

Uoli Zwingli war schon als noch nicht Fünfjähriger seinen Eltern als offenbar hochbegabtes Kind aufgefallen. Sie schickten ihn zum Onkel nach Weesen in die Schule, denn der war dort Pfarrer. Da blieb Zwingli bis er zehn Jahre alt war. Mehr wissen wir leider nicht. Dann schickten sie ihn nach Basel, da blieb er zwei Jahre, lernte das Trivium, nämlich Grammatik, Dialektik und Rhetorik. Auch darüber wissen wir kaum etwas.

Etc.  A neat little essay.

More on the Wesley’s Childhood and the Philosophy of their Mother

Susanna Wesley, wife of a pastor and mother of 19 children, has gone down in Christian history as the ideal mother. In spite of poverty, sickness, disappointment, she managed her household well. She early drew up for herself some rules and observed them:

(1) No child was to be given a thing because he cried for it. If a child wanted to cry, “cry softly!” In her house was rarely heard loud cries by children.
(2) No eating and drinking between meals, except when sick.
(3) Sleeping was also regulated. When very small, a child was given three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. This was shortened until no sleeping was allowed during the daytime.
(4) Punctually, the little ones were laid in the cradle and rocked to sleep. At 7 PM, each child was put to bed; at 8 PM she left the room. She never allowed herself to sit by the bed until the child sleeps.
(5) The little ones had their own tables near the main table. When they could handle fork and knife, they were “promoted” to the family table.
(6) Each one must eat and drink everything before him.
(7) Children must address each other as “Sister ___” or “Brother ___.”
(8) She never allowed herself to show through her ill-temper or by scolding. She would always explain and explain.

Thus, when John Wesley was in college, he wrote asking his Mother what books to read. And her recommendation influenced his life.*

Geesh.  Controlling mommy issues, John?

*Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 849–850.

How The Wesley Kids Were Raised…

No wonder they turned out the way they did… they were terrorized!

John and Charles Wesley, were reared by a God-fearing mother (of seventeen) who laid down some excellent principles for child training. They appear in John Wesley’s Journal:

“When turned a year old (and some before), they were taught to fear the rod, and to cry softly; by which means they escaped abundance of correction they might otherwise have had; and that most odious noise of the crying of children was rarely heard in the house; but the family usually lived in as much quietness as if there had not been a child among them.

“In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer the will and bring them to an obedient temper. To inform the understanding is a work of time, and must with children proceed by slow degrees as they are able to bear it; but subjecting the will is a thing which must be done at once; and the sooner the better. For by neglecting timely correction they will contract a stubbornness and obstinacy which is hardly ever after conquered.

“Whenever a child is corrected, it must be conquered; and this will be no hard matter to do, if it be not grown headstrong by too much indulgence … I cannot yet dismiss this subject. Self-will is the root of all sin and misery, so whatever cherishes this in children insures their after-wretchedness; whatever checks and mortifies it promotes their future happiness.”

In sum, crush them, and crush them hard.  I bet they didn’t get her a Mother’s Day Card…

Apologetics: The False Path

Barth was right about apologetics as theological enterprise when he described it thusly:

The sacrificium intellectus as the last despairing, audacious act of self-confidence, in which man thinks he can decide upon his very knowledge of God, has always turned out to be a bit of conjuring, about which no one can be happy in the long run.