Tuesday, December 20, 2016


In his "Studiorum Ratio", Bullinger writes the following re prayer before serious study of the Scriptures:

"Give me wisdom, understanding, and memory, that I may understand your law, revere you alone, worship you truly, and obtain true knowledge, so that I may redound to your glory and be of service to the state."

Monday, September 5, 2016


Bruce A Ware of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a fairly good article on Zwingli and the Eucharist: "The Meaning of the Lord's supper in the Theology of Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) in Thomas R. Schreiner and Matthew R. Crawford (eds.), "The Lord's Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ until He Comes" (Nashville: Academic, 2010), pp229-247.

He has a good balance between comment and analysis and direct citation from Zwingli himself.

However, ....... look at the 'howler" on page 247

"Fourth, Zwingli's support for the spiritual, even sacramental, presence of Christ in the Eucharist seems strained: Perhaps owing to his affinities with the young John Calvin and the Geneva School of Reformed teaching, Zwingli sought to uphold also the spiritual presence of Christ for those who partake of the elements in faith. And while he affirmed this clearly, as we have seen, he did not support his views biblically here to the extent that he did so strongly elsewhere."

When did Calvin come to a Reformed understanding? This is a matter of debate. Some have suggested the autumn of 1533 - well after Zwingli died on the battlefield at Kappel am Albis!

What a shame that Ware was not aware of the liturgy for the Eucharist that Zwingli wrote in 1525.

See: Jim West, "Huldrych Zwingli: The Implementation of the Lord’s Supp (Atlanta: Pitts Theological Library, 2016). This is a translation of Zwingli's "Aktion oder Brauch der Nachtmahls" (Z, IV, 13-24)

Zwingli is emphatic that it is not the Lord's Supper if Christ is not present - ie spiritually

Monday, January 4, 2016


This is taken from Bruce Gordon’s article “‘Welcher nit bloubt der is schon verdampt’: Heinrich Bullinger and the Spirituality of the last Judgment” in Zwingliana, XXIX, 2002, 29, 30.

Bullinger’s regular practice was to preach three (in the early years up to six!) times a week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. In addition to his sermons for the early morning services, Bullinger also preached on the principal days of the Reformed church year (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost) and the patronal festival of Felix and Regula in September, leading Fritz B├╝sser to estimate that between 7,000 and 7,500 sermons were delivered in Zurich by Zwingli’s successor during his forty four years as head of the church. These sermons formed the crucial artery of Bullinger’s activity in Zurich, feeding all of his other intellectual, ecclesiastical, and political activities, with most of the ideas first expressed in the context of worship services recycled to fit a variety of contexts. The Word of God as the foundation for all human activity – this was as Bullinger believed it should be; yet, such a seemingly straightforward premise was in the fact the basis of a deeply complex set of issues. We still know far too little about how Bullinger worked in formulating and disseminating his ideas, nor have we penetrated the dense web of interrelationships between his sermons and writings on the one hand, and, on the other, the wider orbit of his activities as head of a large church consisted of more than a hundred urban and rural parishes. The large corpus of surviving sermons forms a map of Bullinger’s metal world; they provide a narrative structure, shaped by his language of biblical exposition, for the confusing array of domestic and international matters in which he found himself entangled. Bullinger spoke to the people of Zurich in sermons for almost fifty years, explaining the world in terms of scripture by choosing what he regarded s the appropriate text for particular situations.