Friday, May 09, 2008

Bucer and Concord

4. The Wittenberg Concord.
The outcome of these endeavors was the Wittenberg Concord, which was agreed upon with Luther in 1536 by a delegation of Upper German theologians under the direction of Butzer. In this Concord the concession was made to Luther that the body and the blood of Christ are truly and essentially present with the bread and with the wine and are so given and received, the only modification being that the unworthy, but not the unholy, actually receive the body of the Lord. By this agreement a certain sort of theological understanding was reached between Luther and the South Germans, but the rupture between Butzer and the Swiss was accomplished.

5. Critique of Butzer's Attitude in the Controversy.
Whatever views be held of Butzer's efforts for union, especially in the eucharistic controversy, his honest intention and his unselfish zeal to serve the Church are beyond all question. His diplomatic tactics were not always such as to inspire confidence, and they gave offense to other parties besides Luther. Butzer himself felt it afterward and honestly acknowledged that he had not always interfered in a discreet manner. The whole subject of controversy was of less interest for Butzer than for Luther, hence Butzer's readiness to make concessions and ever new formularizations. The real success of his endeavors was that the South Germans were not only induced to make common political cause with the North Germans, but were also drawn into the communion of Lutheranism, in spite of their peculiar doctrine of the Lord's Supper. The fact that Melanchthon, influenced partly by Butzer, took an intermediate position, and was thus drawn nearer to Calvin, was also far-reaching in its importance for the future formation of the Evangelical Church in Germany. The outcome of the Schmalkald War and the defeat of the Protestants (1547) gave the emperor power to settle the religious troubles by the Augsburg Interim (see INTERIM) in 1548, which was accepted by the majority of the intimidated diet and was to be forced upon the city of Strasburg. This was most energetically opposed by Butzer and his younger colleague, Paul Fagius, on the ground of the Romanizing character of the document. But when the council, yielding to the force of circumstances, accepted the Interim, Butzer perceived that he could remain in Strasburg no longer, and he accepted a call to England, whither he had been invited, together with Fagius, by Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, the soul of the Reformation in England

Thanks:This is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library of Calvin College and by Paul Greenberg.

No comments: