The Swiss Reformation

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					The Swiss Reformation
     Zwingli in Zurich
     Calvin in Geneva
Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)
                Born in Wildhaus, Switzerland.

                Studied under leading renaissance
                 scholars in Basel and Vienna, he
                 earned an M.A. in 1506 and began the
                 study of theology. He was ordained a
                 priest in 1506.

                He became the parish priest of a
                 country church at Glarus (1506-516).
                 He studied Hebrew and Greek. He
                 also acted as chaplain for Swiss
                 mercenary armies in Italy (Milan).

                In 1516 he became the priest of
                 Einsiedeln where the famous ―Black
                 Virgin‖ attracted floods of pilgrims.
                 Visited Erasmus in 1516.
     Moving Toward Reformation
   He was a great admirer of
    Erasmus and was overjoyed
    with the appearance of the
    printed Greek text. Read the
    patristic literature, especially

   During his stay in Einsiedeln,
    he began to question (though
    not oppose) the sale of
    indulgences and questioned
    the value of pilgrimages.

   January 1, 1519 he was
    elected to the main pulpit in
    Zurich (population 6,000 with
    200 clergy and monks).
Zurich Reformation
            Zwingli began preaching from the
             Greek text out of Matthew.

            Zwingli endeared himself to the
             Zurich church by ministering to
             them during the plague of 1519
             (in which Zwingli’s own brother
             died) and he almost died himself.

            In 1522 Zwingli preached that it
             was permissible to eat all foods at
             all times. On Ash Wednesday, he
             watched some of his members eat
             two fried sausages. Some were
             imprisoned. Zwingli defended
             them from his pulpit and
             published Concerning Freedom
             and the Choice of Food
         Pestleid (Plague Song)
   Help me, O Lord,           Yet, if your voice,
    My strength and rock;       In life’s mid-day
    Lo, at the door             Recalls my soul,
    I hear death’s knock.       Then I obey.

   Uplift your arm,           In faith and hope,
    Once pierced for me,        Earth I resign,
    That conquered              Secure of heaven,
    death,                      For I am Yours.
    And set me free.
                    Zurich Disputations
   First (January 1523): Zwingli presented 67 articles of belief that questioned
    human ceremonies and requirements (10% of town present).
     – Had previously published On the Certainty of the Word of God defending sola
     – In 1522 Zwingli had secretly married (which he made public in 1524).

   Second (October 1523): Convinces the council to proceed with reform
    based on scripture alone (15% of town present).
     – Images removed from the churches
     – Monasteries were dissolved

   Third Disputation (January 1525): Council fully supports reform.
     – Easter, 1525 is the first fully Protestant worship in Zurich.
     – Zurich is officially a ―Reformed church.‖
     – This disputation also concluded in favor of infant baptism and the exclusion of
       those who opposed it.
Nature of Zwingli’s Reformation
   He opposed the use of icons and stripped churches in
    Zurich of their religious art.

   He opposed the use of instrumental music and the organ
    was silenced in 1524 and destroyed in 1527.

   The Reformed principle was to include in the worship
    only that which was clearly authorized in the New

   He opposed the Catholic Mass and simplified the liturgy.
    Preaching became the primary focus of liturgy.
               Johannes Oecolampadius
                from Basel (1482-1531)
   Studied at University of Tubingen where he met
    Melancthon; he was appointed Cathedral preacher in
    Basel (1515)
   Was a proof-reader for Erasmus; corresponded with
    Luther; entered monastery in Augsburg for two years
   Returned to Basel in 1522 as lecturer in theology at the
   Leads the reformation of the church in Basel and
    became Zwingli’s supporter in Switzerland.
    – Wrote first major OT commentary of the Reformation
    – Master of Patristics
    – Defended Zwingli’s position on the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.
    Oecolampadius’ Four Theses (1523)

   Sola Scriptura
 Our righteousness is unclean; therefore
  justified by sola fidei
 Opposed the use of saints and the need
  for intermediaries.
 Proclaimed that believers have freedom in
  Christ and are not bound by human
  traditions and innovations.
      The Conclusions at Berne
1. The holy Christian Church, whose only Head is Christ,
   is born of the Word of God, and abides in the same,
   and listens not to the voice of a stranger.

2. The Church of Christ makes no laws or commandments
   apart from the Word of God; hence all human
   traditions are not binding upon us except so far as
   they are grounded upon or prescribed in the Word of

3. Christ is the only wisdom, righteousness, redemption,
   and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. For
   this reason it is a denial of Christ to confess any other
   means of salvation or satisfaction for sin.
             Conclusions at Berne
4.   It cannot be shown from Holy Scripture that the body and blood
     of Christ are substantially and corporeally received in the bread of
     the Eucharist.

5.   The mass, as it is now celebrated, in which Christ is offered to God
      the Father for the sins of the living and the dead is contrary to
      Scripture, a blasphemy against the most holy sacrifice, passion,
      and death of Christ and on account of its abuse, an abomination
      to God.

6.   As Christ alone died for us, so he is also to be adored as the only
      Mediator and Advocate between God the Father and us. For this
      reason it is contrary to the basis of the Word of God to direct
      worship to be offered to other mediators beyond the present life.
              Conclusions at Berne
7.    Scripture does not tell us there is a place beyond this life in which souls
      are purged. Therefore all services for the dead, vigils, masses,
      processions, anniversaries, lights, candles, and other such things are

8.    It is contrary to the Word of God, contained in the books of the Old and
      New Testaments, to make images for use in worship. For this reason
      they are to be abolished, if they are set up as objects of worship.

9.    Marriage is not forbidden in Scripture to any class of men, but is
      commanded and permitted to all in order to avoid fornication and

10.   Since according to Scripture an open fornicator must be
      excommunicated, it follows that fornication or impure celibacy are more
      pernicious to the clergy than to any other class on account of the
    Three Positions on the Supper
   Transubstantiation – the bread and wine are
    transformed into real body and blood of Jesus (Roman
    – The substance changes (bread to body)
    – The accidents remain (still looks like bread)
   Consubstantiation – the body and blood of Christ are
    added to the presence of the bread and wine (Luther)
   Symbolism – the bread and wine symbolically represent
    the body and blood of Christ; it is a memorial of Christ’s
    sacrifice. The body and blood are not substantially or
    literally present (Zwingli).
           ―The Supper Strife‖
   Luther believed in consubstantiation:
    – Elements in Lord’s Supper are literal body &
      blood of Christ
 Zwingli believed that Lord’s Supper is
  entirely symbolic, a memorial feast
 Two denounced each other as heretics
 Martin Bucer sought unity among
 Arranged discussion at Marburg, 1529
       The Marburg Colloquy
       of Hesse
 Philip
 (also wanting
 unity) offered his
 castle at Marburg
 for the
                      Castle of Philip of Hesse at
              The Discussion
 Luther refused to consider Zwingli’s
 Told Bucer that he had a different spirit
 Wrote on table: Hoc est corpus meum
    – ―This is my body‖
   Bucer continued to work toward a
    statement with which both parties would
Room at castle where discussion took place (as it appears today)
Painting showing Zwingli (to right), Luther (pointing to table), Bucer and Melancthon
seated at the table. (Bucer on right). Other key leaders in Reformation present.
          Marburg Agreement
Fifteenth, we all believe and hold concerning the Supper of our dear
Lord Jesus Christ that both kinds should be used accord-ing to the
institution by Christ; [also that the mass is not a work with which
one can secure grace for someone else, whether he is dead or
alive;] also that the Sacrament of the Altar is a sacrament of the
true body and blood of Jesus Christ and that the spiritual partaking
of the same body and blood is especially necessary for every
Christian. Similarly, that the use of the sacrament, like the word,
has been given and ordained by God Almighty in order that weak
consciences may thereby be excited to faith by the Holy Spirit. And
although at this time, we have not reached an agree-ment as to
whether the true body and blood of Christ are bodily present in the
bread and wine, nevertheless, each side should show Christian love
to the other side insofar as conscience will permit, and both sides
should diligently pray to Almighty God that through his Spirit he
might confirm us in the right understanding.
               Luther and Zwingli
  Topic        Luther                   Zwingli
 Key Question Where can I find the     Where can I find the true church?
               merciful God?
 Experience   Experience of Mercy      Experience of Election
 Education    Doctor of Theology       Master of Humanities
 Language     Northern German          Southern German (Swiss)
 Training     Via Moderna (Occamist)   Via Antiqua (Thomist)
 Beginning    95 Theses on Penance     67 Articles on Church
 Politics     Regional/State           City
 Theology     Faith as Key             Election as Key
 Emphasis     Word as Means            Spirit Without the Word
 Law          Condemn and Convict      Guide Church in Obedience
 Church       Adiaphora                Primitivism
 Sacraments   Means                    Signs
 Function     Assurance and Means      Ecclesial
 Church/State Separation               Integration
Reformation: A Divided Movement
   Luther
    – Liturgical worship: permission to use tradition as long as it does
      not violate the gospel
    – Substantial presence of Christ in the supper
    – Valued the role of bishops (supervisors).
    – Separation of Church and State: Two Kingdom Theory
    – Influential in northern Germany
   Zwingli
    – Simple worship: only do what is authorized in the New
    – Symbolic presence of Christ in the supper.
    – Valued local pastors and independent congregations
    – Theocratic understanding of City Council and local jurisdictions.
    – Influential in Switzerland and southern Germany.
              Zwingli, 1525-1531
   Sought to unite the Swiss Cantons through disputations.
   Zwingli also submitted a confession to Emperor Charles
    V at Augsburg: Fidei Ratio.
   Bern and Basel both followed Zwingli, but other Cantons
    – Bern Disputation in May 1528.
   By 1531, five Cantons were Protestant and five were
    Roman Catholic.
    – Successive military conflicts broke out between Protestants and
      Catholics beginning in 1528.
    – On October 11, 1531 Zwingli died in a battle between Catholics
      and Protestants at Kappel near Zurich.
    – Switzerland was permanently divided into Protestant and
      Catholic Cantons.
             Zwingli’s Theology
 The ground of redemption is election—God’s sovereign
  initiative is primary.
 Faith is the sign of God’s electing grace—is the certain
  assurance by which humanity relies on the merit of
  Christ alone. They are elect before they believe.
 Faith comes only by the Spirit of God—usually in
  conjunction with the preached the word of God. The
  preached word brings an ―internal word‖—a persuasion
  and insistence of the Spirit by which we believe. The
  Father draws us into faith because we are part of the
 While Zwingli taught the unity of Spirit and Word, he
  also insisted that no external means are necessary for
  faith—God acts through the immediacy of his Spirit.
          Sacramental Theology
   There are only two sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s
   Zwingli rejects any instrumental or causative meaning
    for the sacraments. Rather, sacraments are symbolic in
    meaning—they are not means by which God works.
   They are communal acts by which humans pledge and
    testify their allegiance to God and the church. The
    congregation is the actor rather than God.
   Here Luther and Zwingli are opposites—Luther believed
    in the instrumental character of the sacraments. They
    are genuine means of grace and necessary for salvation.
            Sacramental Theology
   Zwingli: ―We cannot accept that view…which holds that the
    sacraments are signs of such nature that when they are
    administered then they simultaneously accomplish inwardly
    that which they signify outwardly. For this would bind the
    freedom of the Spirit of God, who divides to men severally as
    he will, that is, to whom and when and where he will.‖

   Luther: ―Therefore state it most simply thus, that the power,
    work, profit, fruit, and end of Baptism is this, namely, to save.
    For no one is baptized in order that he may become a prince,
    but, as the words declare, that he be saved. But to be saved.
    we know. is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death,
    and the devil, and to enter into the kingdom of Christ, and to
    live with Him forever.‖
           Luther on Baptism
But as our would-be wise, new spirits assert that faith
alone saves, and that works and external things avail
nothing, we answer: It is true, indeed, that nothing in us
is of any avail but faith, as we shall hear still further. But
these blind guides are unwilling to see this, namely, that
faith must have something which it believes, that is, of
which it takes hold, and upon which it stands and rests.
Thus faith clings to the water, and believes that it is
Baptism, in which there is pure salvation and life; not
through the water (as we have sufficiently stated), but
through the fact that it is embodied in the Word and
institution of God, and the name of God inheres in it.
             Luther on Baptism
   But if they say, as they are accustomed: Still
    Baptism is itself a work, and you say works are
    of no avail for salvation; what then, becomes of
    faith? Answer: Yes, our works, indeed, avail
    nothing for salvation; Baptism, however, is not
    our work, but God's (for, as was stated, you
    must put Christ-baptism far away from a bath-
    keeper's baptism). God's works, however, are
    saving and necessary for salvation, and do not
    exclude, but demand, faith; for without faith
    they could not be apprehended.
               Luther and Zwingli
  Topic        Luther                   Zwingli
 Key Question Where can I find the     Where can I find the true church?
               merciful God?
 Experience   Experience of Mercy      Experience of Election
 Education    Doctor of Theology       Master of Humanities
 Language     Northern German          Southern German (Swiss)
 Training     Via Moderna (Occamist)   Via Antiqua (Thomist)
 Beginning    95 Theses on Penance     67 Articles on Church
 Politics     Regional/State           City
 Theology     Faith as Key             Election as Key
 Emphasis     Word as Means            Spirit Without the Word
 Law          Condemn and Convict      Guide Church in Obedience
 Church       Adiaphora                Primitivism
 Sacraments   Means                    Signs
 Function     Assurance and Means      Ecclesial
 Church/State Separation               Integration
Martin Bucer (1491-1551)
               Born at Schlettstadt in
               Attended excellent
                humanistic school
               Joined Dominican order
                to further studies
               Sent to Heidelberg
                chapter because better
                educational opportunities
               Met Luther there
Humanist school in Schlettstadt that Bucer attended while Jacob
                  Gebwiler was headmaster
 From Erasmus to Martin Luther
 Bucer deeply committed to Erasmian
  humanist reform agenda
 Luther came to Heidelberg to defend his
 University refused to allow Luther to speak
 Dominicans opened their chapel to him
 Bucer & two friends deeply convicted
 Justification by faith alone
        Bucer meets Luther
 Bucer stayed after lecture to ask Luther
 Luther invited him to have lunch with him
 Shared with him his new commentary on
 ―I came an Erasmian; I left a Martinian!‖
       Heidelberg to Strasbourg
 Bucer married Elizabeth Silberreisen
 Convinced forced clerical celibacy
  produced immorality
 Soon in trouble with church
 Protected by sympathetic nobles
 Church excommunicated him
 Fled to his parents in Strasbourg for help
    What would Strasbourg do?
 Parents pled for their son before council
 As son of citizens, he should be protected
 Strasbourg already had reformed pastors:
  Matthew Zell of St. Thomas
 Zell allowed him to speak on a wooden
  pulpit on alternate days
 Asked by poor gardeners of St. Auriole to
  be their pastor
              St. Thomas
 Matthew Zell getting older
 Council became supportive
 Voted to approve reformation for city
 Bucer appointed chief pastor of St.
 Aided in city by Wolfgang Capito and
 Support from John Oecolampadius at
Relief medallion of Bucer from his memorial in St. Thomas
                   Church in Strasbourg
                                           Strasbourg Cathedral where
                                           Bucer first preached under Zell

St. Thomas Church where Bucer was pastor
        In hopes of unity….
 Bucer defined a platform of unity
 Theologians should determine what was
  essential for all Christians to believe
 These doctrines would be taught as non-
  negotiable matters of faith
 Non-essentials (adiaphora) would be areas
  where different interpretations would be
  respected & over which they would not
       An Advocate of Unity
 Tolerant policy to Anabaptists – disagreed
  yet tried to learn from their piety
 Worked tirelessly to try to communicate
  and reunite with Catholics
 Tried to keep Protestants from dividing
    The Doctrine of the Presence
 Bucer convinced Luther & Zwingli both saying
  same things in different ways
 Produced a midway synthesis:
    –   Elements not literal body & blood
    –   But taken under form of bread & wine
    –   Christ present with us in Lord’s Supper
    –   Accepted by Calvin & Cranmer
    –   Melancthon agreed with Bucer by the 1540s.
    –   Incorporated into Reformed & Anglican theology
    Bucer as Protestant Diplomat
 Sent representatives to court of King
  Francis I of France to persuade him
 Also attempted to reach King Henry VIII
 Negotiated with Catholic Cardinals
 Tried to work with emperor Charles V
 Worked closely with Prince Philip of Hesse
        Religious Discussions
 Continually scheduled debates or
 Regensburg, Wittenberg, Augsburg,
  Cologne, Marburg, Worms,
 Wrote continually to answer critics
 But his efforts were largely unsuccessful.
             The Interim
 Charles imposed Interim that restored
  mass in Strasbourg and restricted
 New city council did not support Bucer
 He went into exile
 Thomas Cranmer urged them to come to
  England and help him
 Bucer sick, discouraged, tired
         English Reformation
 Bucer taught at Cambridge
 Helped write Book of Common Prayer
 English ordinal
 Encouraged Cranmer concerning doctrines
  like predestination, justification,
 Wrote De Regno Christi to King Edward VI
    – Described true Christian community
               Bucer’s Death
   Never well after went to England
   Died in 1551 after two years there
   His second wife, Wibrandis Rosenblatt Bucer
    with him
   Buried at Cambridge
   Bones exhumed and disgraced by Mary I
   Restored to honor by Elizabeth
   Same rector of Cambridge presided over both
Jean Calvin (1509-1564)
               After studying law in Paris and
                Orleans, he emerged in 1534
                as a leading Reformer in

               Francis I of France issued an
                edict suppressing Protestants
                in 1535.

               In 1536 Calvin produced a
                brief, systematic summary of
                the Protestant faith. Through
                26 editions and many
                translations, it became the
                classic statement of
                Protestantism—Institutes of
                the Christian Religion.
    The Education of Jean Calvin
   Born of humble ancestry
     – Yet maintained manners of nobility; father was a
     – Born at Noyon, Picardy, 60 miles northeast of Paris
   26 years younger than Luther
     – Belonged to second generation of reformers
   Father wanted him to be a priest but Calvin studied law
    and pursued humanist studies (in Orleans 1528).
   After his father’s death, he returns to Paris in 1531
     – Receives the Doctor of Laws (1532)
     – His first book was a commentary on Seneca (1533)
                  Calvin Museum constructed at location of
                               his house

Noyon Cathedral
         Calvin and Protestantism
Testifies to some mysterious experience in 1532.
    –   Very secret about it
    –   Other students came to him to learn what he believed
    –   Convinced of God’s sovereignty and omnipotence
    –   Felt himself the chosen instrument of God
   Wrote a sermon for Nicholas Cop that was
    preached on Nov 1, 1533.
    – It quoted Luther and was Protestant in tone.
    – Cop and Calvin had to flee Paris in 1534 because the
      persecution of Protestants had begun.
    Institutes of the Christian Religion
   First published in 1536 in Basel and dedicated to
    Francis I, King of France.
   First edition was only 6 chapters, but the last
    edition was 80 chapters.
   Total of 10 editions (1536 to 1560), published in
    Latin and French.
   The structure was originally based on the
    Apostle’s Creed—systematic, clear and orderly
    with strong rooting in Scripture and Augustine
    (and other church fathers).
   The most influential book of the Reformation.
   Geneva was the focus of concern as Swiss Cantons were dividing
    between Protestant and Catholic, and French Catholic Savoy wanted
    to retain Geneva within its territory.

   Protestant cities, like Bern, rescued Geneva from Savoy’s attack in
     – Farel (1489-1565), a reformer in Basel, came to Geneva in 1532 and
       persuaded magistrates to favor Reform by 1534 through several
     – By 1535, the city council gave Catholic clergy the choice to convert or
       leave the city.

   Calvin, traveling through the city in July 1536, was convinced to
    remain as a leader of the Reformation there.
Guillaume Farel, First reformer of Geneva
           Geneva Reformation
   The initial movements (1536-1538) did not go
    well and after a stay in Strasbourg (1538-1541),
    Calvin returned to the city triumphantly.
    – The source of the conflict was the relationship
      between the Council and the church.
    – Calvin favored ecclesiastical control of church
      discipline and regulating church ordinances while the
      Council wanted to control discipline.
    – Calvin was inexperienced, and the Council drove the
      Reformers out of the city in 1538.
            Calvin’s Beliefs
 Wanted to restore purity of Christianity
  before corrupted by Roman Catholicism
 Saw God as creator, preserver, governor
  of universe
 Creation, Fall, Redemption as the story of
 God worked out one consistent scheme of
  redemption through a covenant of grace.
              Calvin and Grace
   Humanity sinful and incapable of good work
    – Cannot save itself
    – Dependent entirely on God’s grace
 God’s justice satisfied by death of Christ
 Believers justified when they trust in Christ
 Christ takes humanity’s sin; believers are clothed
  with the perfect righteousness of Christ
 Faith itself is a gift of God’s grace (like Zwingli)
      Election & Preservation
 Calvin believed in God’s eternal
  election: God has chosen who will be
  saved by his own grace.
 Thus God will preserve his elect to
  eternal life
 Humanity has the responsibility to
  respond to God’s grace in holiness,
  good works, and faithful obedience
       The Church to Calvin
 The one Church of Christ was the sum of
  God’s elect, invisible, members known to
 Believers in one community become
  visible church
 Exists wherever word faithfully preached
  and heard & sacraments (baptism and the
  Lord’s Supper) faithfully administered
 Published Ecclesiastical Ordinances 1541
      Organization of Church
 Ministers(Venerable Company) or
  pastors—the administrators of the
 Elders (Consistory)—a council of
 Teaching Pastors—charged with
  educating the church and preaching.
 Deacons—to minister to the needs of
  the church.
 Accepted Bucer’s doctrine of the spiritual
  (not substantial but neither merely
  symbolic) presence in communion
 Wanted communion in all churches at
  least once weekly
 Council denied his request
 Held high view of importance and
  necessity of baptism: baptism is an
  instrumental means of grace through
  which God ordinarily works.
           The Scriptures
 Held high view of Scripture
 One book, Old & New Testament
 Revealing one plan of human
 His people truly a ―People of the
 Believed that we should not act
  without Scriptural authority
      Strasbourg, 1538-1541
 Took refuge with Bucer in Strasbourg
 Learned theology and how to organize a
  Christian Community
 Preached at church for French Protestant
 Taught at John Sturm’s Academy
 Wrote
 Married Idelette de Bure
 Very happy experience!
Calvin’s wife, Idelette
                          Calvin returning to Geneva in 1541
       de Bure
         Second Call to Geneva
   Political shift in Geneva
    – People wanted preachers back
    – Catholic Church had sought to return and
      Calvin opposed through his Letter to Sadoleto
 Farel persuaded him to return with him
 Left Strasbourg in tears
 Stayed in Geneva the rest of his life
    – Next 28 years
         Geneva 1541-1564
 Very successful reformer there
 Preached, supervised church, encouraged
  commerce & trade, advised council
 Founded University of Geneva
 Public morality successfully enforced
 Geneva became city of refuge for
  Protestants in exile from all over Europe
     Geneva: The Reformed City
   From 1541-1564, Geneva was the heartbeat of
    the ―Reformed‖ Protestant faith (e.g.,
    – It sent missionaries into France and southern France
      was significantly influenced (by 1561 2150 Protestant
    – It became a refugee city for persecuted French,
      Dutch, Scottish and English Protestants.
    – Through this influence, the Netherlands became the
      locus of the ―Dutch Reformed Church,‖ the Scottish
      Kirk became Presbyterian, the Puritans sought reform
      in England and the Huguenots were a religious and
      political force in France.
        The Reformation in 1541
 Martin Bucer is working for unity between Reformed,
  Lutheran and Catholic—as is Melanchton. The last major
  attempt was at a conference in Regensburg (1541).
 Lutherans are growing in Northern Germany and
  Scandinavia, but Luther is uninterested in the unity
 The Swiss (and the French Reformed Church) are united
  in a ―Reformed‖ understanding of the faith, though there
  are sacramental and ecclesiological differences between
  Zurich and Geneva.
    – Zurich is symbolic; Geneva is instrumental.
    – Church discipline is conducted by the magistrates in Zurich but
      determined by the Council of Pastors in Geneva.

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