Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bullinger and Circumcision

The following is a section from The Decades III.6 in which Bullinger cites Lactantius from Lib. Instit. Iv. Chap 17:

The meaning of circumcision was, that we should make bare our breasts; to wit, that we should live with a simple and plain dealing heart; because that part of the body, which is circumcised, is partly like to a heart, and an object of shame: and the cause why God commanded to make it bare was, that by that sign he might admonish us not to have a covered heart, that is, that we should not cover the secrets of our conscience any crime whereof we ought to be ashamed. And this is the circumcision of the heart, whereof the prophet speak, which Hod hath translated from the mortal flesh to the immortal soul. For the Lord being wholly set and fully minded, according to his eternal goodness, to have a care for our life and safeguard, did set repentance before our eyes for us to follow, as a way to bring us thereunto: so that, if we make bare our hearts, that is, by confession of our sins we satisfy the Lord, we should obtain pardon, which is denied to the proud and those that conceal their faults by God, who holdeth not the face as man doth, but searcheth the secrets of the breast.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Did Zwingli teach that the sacraments are empty signs?

The ninth article of the Marburg Articles are clear that, for Zwingli, the sacraments are more than empty signs:
Zum n├╝ndten, das der heylig touffe sye ein sacrament, das zuo soelichem glouben von gott yngesetzt, und diewyl gottes gebott: Ite, baptisate [Matth. 28, 19], und gottes verheyssung drinnen ist: qui crediderit [Mark. 16, 16], so ists nit allein ein ledig zeichen oder losung under den christen, sonder ein zeichen und werck gottes, darinn unser gloube
gefordert, durch welchen wir zum laeben widergeborenn werdend.

Ninth, that holy baptism is a sacrament which has been instituted by God as an aid to such a faith, and because God’s command, “Go baptize” (Matthew 28:19), and by God’s promise, “He who believes” (Mark 16:16), are connected with it, it is therefore not merely an empty sign or watchword among Chgristians but, rather, a sign and work of God by which our faith grows and through which we are regenerated to (eternal) life.