Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Augustine was the church father that was most cited by Bullinger. Bullinger wanted to underscore the continuity of the reformed church with the church of the fathers. But, as always, Bullinger only cited Augustine with approval when he agreed with Augustine’s understanding and interpretation of Scripture. On ceratin occasions, Bullinger indicated what he considered the errors of Agugustine. The following is one such example:

“For St Augustine, being infected with the like error, defendeth that the sacrament of the Lord’s supper ought to be put into the infants’ mouth, or else they are in danger of death and damnation, because it is written: ‘Except you eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.’ Therefore after this same order he placeth these two sentences: ‘Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God;’ and, ‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,’ &c. So that if thou persist obstinately in St Augustine’s sentence, verily thou wilt condmen the whole church at this day, which denieth the partaking of the Lord’s supper unto infants. But if in this thing there be admitted a convenient interpretation, why are ye so rigorous and obstinate in another and the like place and cause not disagreeable?’

(The Decades V.8 – Parker ed pp 379,380)

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