Friday, May 8, 2015

Ulrich Zwingli - by William Boekestein

Ulrich Zwingli, by William Boekestein is, as the series is titled, a "Bitesize Biography" but there is a good amount of content in that 'bite'.  Despite this biography's size, it gives a lot of information to Zwingli. It actually seems to 'introduce' you to him as opposed to making you a mere acquaintance of his life. 

The things I most remember about Zwingli, from other books and sources on him, are that he died in a not-so justifiable battle/war and that he debated and opposed Luther on the presence of Christ in the 'Lord's Table'.  I've found out that there were several things I didn't know about his life, these things include sanctifying works of God in and through his life such as his doing away with preaching on Bible texts assigned by the Catholic Church, and opting for a verse by verse, book by book method of preaching instead.

On the negative side, there were the manifestations of the sinful 'remnants' of Zwingli's dead old self that still hadn't conceded that God had won the victory(Rom. 7-8).  Some of these negatives are evidenced in Zwingli's struggle with sexual sin(he solicited prostitutes), even when he had come to an accurate view of salvation.  He technically shouldn't have been a pastor because of that, but he was still a 'Priest' in the Catholic church of that time and they weren't exactly promoting Biblical justification or sanctification.  As the author puts it, "Zwingli's intellectual abilities had greatly outpaced his moral fortitude".  Perhaps the key point in Zwingli's struggle was that it was actually a struggle with this sin, and not a resignation to it.  It does look as though he ultimately did manage to get to get to a point of acting on the Spirit's promptings to habitually 'kill' those sins,  and he married a widow and had several children with her.
Like all Christians, Zwingli had his flaws, and his own battles with his fleshly desires, which makes us admire God's use of the man, realizing even more that any truly godly thing that came out of Zwingli's life was God's work, not his own.  And so it is in all of our lives as Christians, we are dependent upon God for all aspects of salvation, and we take comfort that God's work doesn't just stop at our justification but that it continues with our progressive sanctification and ultimate glorification(Rom. 8:30). 

If you want to get a quick view of Zwingli's life and God's use of Him, this biography would do very well.

Many thanks to the people at Cross Focused Reviews for sending me a review copy of this book(My review did not have to be favorable.

This book may be purchased at Amazon

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