Captio to Zwingli: A Bit of Gossip about Luther and the Saxons

Gratiam et pacem.

Observandissime frater

Wolfgang_Capito-1750Literas tuas per hunc tabellionem aut fratrem, qui has reddidit, missas diligenter ostendimus amicis, quos modo in tempore salutas; nam de reliquiis missarum abrogandis modo agitur. “Hoseam” nostrum, ut meas tentationes cognoscas, lege; nam si quę secus dico, quam vel res et veritas patitur vel hactenus tractata sunt, id tribue non animo et ingenio malo, sed infirmo, quod in veritatem inspiciens aliud non potuit. Observo te tuaque, ut mereris, reverenter, per quem dominus tanta praestitit.

Lutheri furores, mansueto stilo, quanquam iugulum et, ut tu scribis, τὸ καίριον petant, duntaxat a te dimoveas. Referire non est opus, cum sibi maledicentia gravissimum vulnus inflixerit, et tamen veritati adsis, ut soles, nervis omnibus. Non venditur liber eius. Prestat et vos paucis agere, in causam nitentes potius quam hominem, cui opus esse medico videtur; adeo rapitur atra bili. Potes enim pro ingenii et eruditionis tuae amplissimo modo, dilucido compendio, peragere. Nam fere pronuntiat orbis pro te et illius quoque sectatores.

Saxoniae agricolae feruntur occulta conspiratione meditari res novas – scribitur enim 2000 signo baptismatis ceu sacramento et tessera belli notatos esse, quibus ad flagitium par esse animus debeat – quod ego puto fucum esse, quo principes suum quoque euangelium, id est: tyrannidem et avaritiam, specie euangelii expedient. Ad Calendas Maias magna es auditurus, quę modo vel indicare non est integrum. Dominus nos respiciat.

Vale.

Resthium consulem et scribam urbis cum Fabro surdastro et bonis omnibus ex nobis plurimum salutabis. Bucerus item te salutat.

Argentorati 22. Aprilis anno 1528.
Vuolfgangus Capito.
Huldericho Zuinglio, Tigurinorum ecclesiastae,
domino et maiori suo observando. – Zürich.

A Letter to Zwingli on 21 April, 1523

Just for the joy of it (and the fact that the sender’s name is awesome) and because it’s super complimentary (serving, then, as a counterbalance to all the Zwingli-haters what be hatin’ on the model theologian) –

zw1Nicolaus Gerbellius S. in Christo Iesu.

Credo te ex superioribus literis abunde satis accepisse, qui sit erga te animus meus, intelligere etiam, quam cupiam me tibi commendari. Nunc, quia amicitię iure omnia tibi mecum communia esse volui, non in postrema parte erunt utriusque amici, e quorum numero hic unus est, qui has literas reddet tibi, quem probari tibi maxime desidero. Nam pręter morum facilitatem animo est adeo syncero, adeo candido, ut nesciam, si parem inter multos reperire queas.

Id quod tute ilico, me etiam tacente, animadvertes ex habitu corporis summaque in rebus obeundis, quas illi delegaris, dexteritate. Is in severo et Perillęo prope carcere annis aliquot excruciatus, tandem divino, ut ęstimo, spiritu excitus superstitionem cum habitu reliquit. Eius est animi, ut post hac sese cum uxore atque liberis, si quos ex ea susceperit, manibus laboreque suo enutriat.

Sed quoniam apud nos adhuc tuto id facere non potest, consilium fuit homini vel apud te, vel quos tu illi nominaveris, victum querere. Ea in re operam tuam ego eius nomine studiosissime postulo; nam vel ipsa caussa ad hoc te facile animabit. Quod si etiam meus interventus, quem commendatiorem tibi facio, quod tam recens est, non nihil impetraverit, maximi beneficii loco mihi erit. Non credis enim, quantum sibi de meis ad te literis homo omnium fere rerum egenus polliceatur. Fac intelligat, se non frustra tantam spem de amicitia nostra concepisse.

Foelicissime vale.

Argentorati XXI. mensis Aprilis MDXXIII.
Viro iuxta pio ac docto magistro Ulricho Zuuinglio,
amico et fratri suo charissimo.

One day Joel Watts will write me a letter like that.  One day…

May 5th, 1985

That’s the day, 34 years ago, that I was ordained.  What would I tell my younger self about ministry if I could time travel back to that day?

  • Most Church people are kind, helpful, and willing to serve
  • Some Church people are hurtful, selfish, and willing only to be served
  • It will take at least 2 years knowing each sort before you figure out which sort they are
  • Ministry is a thankless task; expect very little appreciation
  • Lower your expectations of people, you’ll be less stressed out
  • In every Church there is at least one thorn in the flesh sent by God to remind you that you depend on Him and not people
  • If you have 5 true friends, count yourself blessed
  • Church people will turn on you in a second.  Disagreements among friends usually end up in reconciliation.  Disagreements with some Church members will only be resolved when they have driven you off
  • Reveal your feelings about others to no one
  • Expect Church people to let you down
  • Pray without ceasing
  • In everything give thanks
  • Find something you enjoy doing outside of ministry, completely disconnected from the life of the Church, and do it every day
  • Don’t forget your family
  • Find a true friend
  • Other Pastors won’t be that true friend
  • Never trust any Church member who says, the moment they meet you, ‘I’ll always be there for you’. They’re lying.  They will be the first to stab you in the back
  • Make sure your zipper is up before you enter the pulpit
  • Never go into the home of a woman when she is there alone, and never ever meet with a woman without the door open and someone in the next room.  Ever.  For any reason
  • Don’t rely on Church workers working
  • Don’t post things before you proofread them
  • Retire and don’t supply, fill in, or otherwise preach.  No other professional keeps on doing what they’ve done for a lifetime when they retire.  Why should you

If I could time travel, these are the things I would tell my younger self.

Aufbruch und Widerspruch: Schweizer Theologinnen und Theologen im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert

Das vorliegende ökumenische Handbuch versammelt Biografien von 55 massgeblichen theologischen Persönlichkeiten aus der Schweiz. Sie alle haben im 20. Jahrhundert und bis in die neueste Zeit das theologische Verstehen und ethische Handeln in den Kirchen, an den Universitäten und in der Gesellschaft reflektiert und geprägt, sei es in biblischer, ökumenischer oder interreligiöser Hinsicht, sei es aus historischer, systematischer oder praktischer Perspektive.

Wie in den beiden Vorgängerbänden (I: 1990; II: 1998) konzentrieren sich die von verschiedenen Autoren und Autorinnen verfassten Artikel auf exemplarische Werkanalysen, persönliche Begegnungen und die spezifische Stossrichtung des theologischen Denkens. Sie bieten eine knappe, informative Übersicht zu Leben und Werk der porträtierten Persönlichkeiten, inklusive einer Bibliografie. So führt dieser Band ein faszinierendes Geschichtswerk weiter und skizziert zugleich die aktuelle Landschaft der römisch-katholischen, evangelisch-reformierten und christkatholischen Theologie der Schweiz.

Free Will

Free will means that if you want to destroy yourself, God lets you.

Free will means that if you embrace Grace, God lets you.

Free will means that if you make foolish choices, God lets you.

Free will means that if you wish to live in faith, God lets you.

Free will is God letting you do what you wish with your life, for good or ill, for sin or the Savior; and it means most of all that you bear personal responsibility for all of your choices.

Choose wisely.

If serving Yahweh seems a bad thing to you, today you must make up your minds whom you do mean to serve, whether the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now living. As regards my family and me, we shall serve Yahweh. — (Jos. 24:15)