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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Schaff On Zwingli's Theology

Zwingli does not shrink from the abyss of supralapsarian-ism. God, he teaches, is the supreme and only good, and the omnipotent cause of all things. He rules and administers the world by his perpetual and immutable providence, which leaves no room for accidents. Even the fall of Adam, with its consequences, is included in his eternal will as well as his eternal knowledge.  -- Phillip Schaff


(Note:  Schaff often reads his own views back into Zwingli, especially when he says that Zwingli left those who had not heard the Gospel as an open question.  This is self contradictory since Zwingli said salvation is not possible without Christ.  The only way to know Christ is through the preaching of the Gospel and the reading of God's Word, the Holy Bible.)

 
2. The doctrine of eternal election and providence. Zwingli gives prominence to God's sovereign election as the primary source of salvation. He developed his view in a Latin sermon, or theological discourse, on Divine Providence, at the Conference of Marburg, in October, 1529, and enlarged and published it afterwards at Zurich (Aug. 20, 1530), at the special request of Philip of Hesse.149 In Opera, vol. IV. 79-144. Leo Judae published a German translation in 1531. Luther heard the discourse, and had no objection to it, except that he disliked the Greek and Hebrew quotations, as being out of place in the pulpit. Calvin, in a familiar letter to Bullinger, justly called the essay paradoxical and immoderate. It is certainly more paradoxical than orthodox, and contains some unguarded expressions and questionable illustrations; yet it does not go beyond Luther's book on the "Slavery of the Human Will," and the first edition of Melanchthon's Loci, or Calvin's more mature and careful statements. All the Reformers were originally strong Augustinian predestinarians and denied the liberty of the human will. Augustine and Luther proceeded from anthropological premises, namely, the total depravity of man, and came to the doctrine of predestination as a logical consequence, but laid greater stress on sacramental grace. Zwingli, anticipating Calvin, started from the theological principle of the absolute sovereignty of God and the identity of foreknowledge and foreordination. His Scripture argument is chiefly drawn from the ninth chapter of Romans, which, indeed, strongly teaches the freedom of election,150 He refers especially to what Paul says about God hardening Pharaoh's heart, and hating Esau and loving Jacob before they were born. But this has reference to their position in history, and not to their eternal salvation or perdition. but should never be divorced from the tenth chapter, which teaches with equal clearness human responsibility, and from the eleventh chapter, which prophesies the future conversion of the Gentile nations and the people of Israel.


Zwingli does not shrink from the abyss of supralapsarian-ism. God, he teaches, is the supreme and only good, and the omnipotent cause of all things. He rules and administers the world by his perpetual and immutable providence, which leaves no room for accidents. Even the fall of Adam, with its consequences, is included in his eternal will as well as his eternal knowledge. So far sin is necessary, but only as a means to redemption. God's agency in respect to sin is free from sin, since he is not bound by law, and has no bad motive or affection.151 Zwingli defends this view by the illustration of the magistracy taking a man's life. So a soldier may kill an enemy in battle, without committing murder. Melanchthon traced (1521) the adultery and murder of David and the treason of Judas to the Divine impulse; but he abandoned afterwards (1535) this "Stoic figment of fatalism." Election is free and independent; it is not conditioned by faith, but includes faith.152 Salvation is possible without baptism, but not without Christ. We are elected in order that we may believe in Christ and bring forth the fruits of holiness. Only those who hear and reject the gospel in unbelief are foreordained to eternal punishment. All children of Christian parents who die in infancy are included among the elect, whether baptized or not, and their early death before they have committed any actual sin is a sure proof of their election.




  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

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