Huldrych Zwingli Died Today

A rendition of Huldrych Zwingli from the 1906 ...
A rendition of Huldrych Zwingli from the 1906 edition of the ”Meyers Konversations-Lexikon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have done my best to stay away from Zwingli, but today is the day which he died, some centuries ago. Skimming his history (of course, his entry is far better and unbiased on Conservapedia), you will note that there was little that Zwingli didn’t attack or seek to ‘reform.’ Ulrich Zwingli, or Harry Z, had seven primary beliefs that were adopted by Zurich. Zwingli expanded his beliefs in his ’67 Articles’ that were published in 1523.

  • Faith demanded an active commitment to God
  • The practices of the Roman Catholic Church took one’s mind away from what Christ taught. There was no justification for these practices in the Bible.
  • Whatever could not be justified by the Bible was to be abolished.
  • Religion was a personal experience which did not require sacraments or ceremonies to sustain it.
  • Zwingli denied that there could be any trace of God in the consecrated sacraments. The service of communion was simply an act of commemoration. The belief that there was a presence was mere superstition. In this, Zwingli differed from Martin Luther.
  • Zwingli put a great deal of emphasis on the law of God as set out in the Bible. Zwingli claimed that it was Christ who gave Man the will to obey.
  • A truly Christian community must follow the Bible as closely as possible.

Okay, I get all this – not that I assent to all of it – but I get it. The one thing I don’t get is why he cares whether or not I am number 1 on the Biblioblog Top 50. (Of course, Dr. West’s ability to talk with the dead worries us, necromancy and all) From what I understand, the remaining 144,000 Zwinglians in the world (I assume that the 20 lives ones will be carrying placards of the 143,980 dead ones) will be marching on Washington tomorrow.

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72 Replies to “Huldrych Zwingli Died Today”

  1. Jim,
    I like Zwingli too, as also Calvin…really many Reformation people, also the Swiss refomer Heinrich Bullinger, etc. EW (“Bully”) Bullinger traced his lineage back to him. If you mean that you read and listen to these great men? I am with you!
    Fr. R.

      1. But make no mistake, Zwingli was a major player in the Reformation! Myself I prefer the Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger. But Calvin is my guy! But we must not forget of course Fr. Luther, he ran the ball first, and lived!
        Fr. R.

        1. For those who are serious about the Reformation history however, Heinrich Bullinger was the successor of Zwingli, after Zwingli was killed in battle. See also, the Second Helvetic Confession. Indeed this reformer is very important in the Protestant Reformation!
          Fr. R.

          1. I think Zwingli when too far in a few things, and he is credited with allowing for the development of modern pentecostalism.

          2. Zwingli was certainly a radical in many places, but the development of modern pentecostalism? It is popular today to say so many things about the Reformers in the West. Elaborate for us please?
            Fr. R.

  2. ok honestly, the suggestion that zwingli is somehow responsible for pentecostalism is just absurd and demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of the history of the 16th century.

    zwingli was actively engaged in fighting on three fronts- against the catholics (in the matter of the mass) , against the lutherans (in the matter of the proper understanding of the lords supper) , and the ‘fanatics’ – what we would call the closest thing in the 16th century to pentecostals.

    i recommend that the chap above who asserted such an impossible suggestion take a week and read a book on the Reformation. especially if he or she plans on chiming in again.

  3. I will have to run with Jim on this one. I think it is very unfair to place our so-called modern judgment on the 16th century, and thus both Zwingli and Calvin. And Joel, I would have to see more than just one reference as to Zwingli and tongues, etc. Also, we need to see that many of the Anabaptist’s were certainly way off on the doctrine of God, sacraments..etc. In those days, heresy was a serious crime!
    Fr. R.

    1. I think anyone can see the humor in my post about Zwingli and speaking in tongues, and the danger in taking someone else’s interpretation of another’s words, especially if that person is still within the cultural context of the reader.

      But, does Rob have merit? We know that Calvin had his Servetus. Who did Zwingli have?

        1. What does being a man and murder have in common?

          If what Rod says is true, doesn’t it have merit to discredit their standing? This has nothing to do with being Reformed.

        2. By the way, I have not aptly studied the murder of Anabaptists, etc… enough to fully comment. History is always interpreted by later generations.

          Rod is right, however, that too often, Protestants have hero-worship.

          Of course, myself, I like and admire the Church Fathers. A tad bit of hero-worship I admit.

          1. This is for Rod first, but I am an Anglican Churchman, and I have taught theology also as a professor. But I use my heart & mind together too, and I am historical, with something of the historical method also. We all have need of our hero’s. But they must always remain men & women…save Christ our God-Man!
            Fr. R.

        3. Rod,
          I wonder if we really fare much better today? At least in our hearts, I say no! For we are all dreadfully sinful! Only Christ has kept the Law of God! Thank God for a Savior of sinners!
          Fr. R.

    1. Gotcha.

      Not sure if he would have done the same, given his experience with his own pedestal placing and the disappointment which that brought him.

  4. I will have to disagree with Rod! We are standing on the shoulders of our Reformers, warts and all! It is so easy with our modern (so-called) hindsight to be so critical of those that have forged so much before us.
    And Barth? simply a modern again Church Father!
    Fr. R.

    1. Rod,
      You are slowing some real disrepect toward our/your Reformers! You just cannot judge these men outside their own culture. Our 20th and 21st century sins are also profound, sexual, hedonistic and narcist, not to mention our materialism. If you don’t like or use historical theology, that is your call, etc. But in reality the Church has always stood on the Fathers before it. Remember too, the Church is always a sinful church, pilgrim..etc.
      Fr. R.

  5. ok i wont trouble you with any further comments past this one. but this has to be said. it is repulsive, sickening, and moronic of people to comment ABOUT zwingli unless they have READ zwingli. not books ABOUT zwingli, mind you, but first hand from zwingli’s own pen.

    i’d venture to say that rod, for one, has never read a word zwingli himself wrote. nor have some of the other commentators. betraying their ignorance, the spout putrid idiocy.

    but this is what dilettantes do all the time. rather than read the bible – in hebrew and greek – they talk about what someone else has told them the bible says. and fools they are, they believe it.

    similarly, rather than reading the reformers in their own words (and that means in latin and in german) they read some dimwit who himself hasnt read the reformers in their own words and actually have the gall to pretend knowledge.

    it makes me sick. enough of that sort of lazy second hand false knowledge. enough of it.

    1. Again, on principle I have have to agree with Jim. I have read all of these men, in Latin at least. And I worship no man, save Christ our Lord! As I said too, I like the theology of the Swiss Heinrich Bullinger. It is also a fact that most of Calvin’s works are still in Latin, and have yet to come into English. But again, I am a Churchman and stand on both history and the continued biblical theology of the Incarnation and the incarnational life of the Church Catholic & Reformed!
      Fr. R.

    2. Rod,
      I myself don’t discredit your intellect at all, but perhaps your use of history and theology? If you don’t like the Reformers? Then go with your conscience, but also let us go with ours, and our Fathers of the Faith also. Again I don’t idolize Zwingli or Calvin, but they were men of faith and the church. So as history I must read and use them. It just happens, that I like Calvin better, Jim Zwingli, and you…well who knows? But we can never simplify our faith, that becomes mere fundamentalism. We must live with it, as I said, warts and all!
      Fr. Robert

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