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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
Once upon a time there was a Swiss pastor called Zwingli. (Okay, that sounds too cheesy). Looking at accounts of Church history and in particular Reformation History how a little known pastor called Huldrych Zwingli became a Reformer (and the people’s pastor). Here is a good story that my good friend Jim West has dug up. Its a sweet story worth reading of how the Reformation was birthed and spread out in Zurich :
1524 marked the completion of the break with the Old Church as far as Zurich was concerned. The changes were made deliberately and under orders from the City Council. They occasioned no revolt, although they were of the most radical description. It was made to appear that the changes came in consequence of the city authorities’ conviction of their scripturalness, and not because Zwingli had insisted upon them. Nor was a step taken without the approval beforehand of the thoughtful classes.
Zwingli and his fellow Reformers argued before the people the propriety of the changes about to be made. Then when a sufficient time had elapsed a public debate was held in the presence of the City Council, and then the Council ordered the changes. The consequence was the changes were made once for all, were fully comprehended, and gladly assented to.
In loving memory of Jim Bublitz who went to be with the Lord not more than two days ago, I will feature this post from his blog – The Old Truth.
In the 19th century, R.L. Dabney wrote –
“All the leading Reformers, whether in Germany, Switzerland, England or Scotland were constant preachers, and their sermons were prevalently expository”; the purpose was to explain the meaning of Scripture. So he says, “We can assume with safety that the instrumentality to which the spiritual power of the great revolution of the Reformation – was mainly due to the restoration of scriptural preaching”.
Martin Luther in 1533 said, “The Word of God is the greatest most necessary, most important thing in Christendom.” And it is. I’ll tell you what, you turn away from the Book and you have endless problems. You turn away from the Book and Jesus becomes a clay toy, you can shape Him any way you want. Truth becomes a clay toy, you can shape it any way you want…
See, people want to reinvent Jesus, shape Him any way they want.
I had a very interesting trip recently to Germany and Switzerland as I followed a few of the Reformers. One of them stuck out. No he didn’t nail theses on walls but he knew how to get his point across. I must add here that the Reformation actually was not a one man crusade as some would want you to believe. God in his providence harnessed events in tandem to bring about one of the greatest revivals since Pentecost and the visible effects were actually out workings and fruits of birth pangs that had began with people going back to reading the scriptures.
In Zürich (Switzerland) stands a statue that has braved mischievous and militant Swiss pigeons to the hilt. It stands in the church yard of one of the biggest cathedrals in Zürich, the Grossmünster. The statue is of the man who was called “the people’s priest” Ulrich (Huldrych) Zwingli. Zwingli was born January 1, 1484 in Wildhaus, Switzerland. Early scholarly gifts caused him to be sent to school, especially at Basel, and he learned to love the classics.
When Zwingli became a priest he arrived in Zürich town with the announcement that he would begin to preach right through the Gospel of Matthew. This was a departure from the fragmentary reading of Scripture that had prevailed in the medieval Church. After Matthew he preached through Acts and then turned his attention to Paul’s epistles. There is a lot that the contemporary church movement would learn from this simple man who led to spiritual reform from just beginning to preach verse by verse (expository preaching) at the Grossmünster. (Click here for Zwingli resources online)
The Grossmünster (“great minster”) is a Romanesque-style Protestant church in Zürich, Switzerland. It is near the banks of the Limmat River. Construction of the present structure commenced around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220. Huldrych Zwingli initiated the Swiss-German Reformation in Switzerland from his pastoral office at the Grossmünster, starting in 1520. Zwingli won a series of debates …Read More!
Ever wondered what the apostles or even the reformers would say if they attended a modern day church service? Okay, what if they strolled into a mega church movie sermon series or sat and watched christian television. Would they agree with our shenanigans (read eisegesis)? How about Zwingli, that feisty almost unsang hero of the reformation would he have a fit? I think [chuckling now] I know:
First you need to dispense with the notion that what you read into Scripture is what’s there. Such a view is quite pointless as I will clearly show. I know that you will insist that you have worked through Scripture and uncovered texts which support your point of view. And here we hit at the disease of the human heart …Read More!
Looking back through the recent past, Christianity has gone through roller coasters. The reformation brought us out of the darkness of Roman Catholicism and departure from Scripture. The term Reformation is a historical term that goes back almost four centuries. It refers to a period when the church underwent a “reformation” as men of God attempted to return Christianity to the authority of Scripture. The desire of the Reformation was not to change God’s word but rather to bring the church back to the early Christian church. Led by men like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, John Knox and the others. The Reformation churches split off from the errors of the medieval Roman church and began what we know today as Protestantism. The Protestant churches were born out of the Reformation. Read More