The preaching ministry of Heinrich Bullinger [Author] [Institution] Thesis Statement Heinrich Bullinger was a well-known Swiss reformer who was the head of the Zurich church as the successor of Huldrych Zwingli. Most researchers show how different he was form the earlier generation of reformers such as Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli…
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Life of a Preacher 5. Highs and Lows of his Life in Zurich 6. Conclusion 1. Introduction Heinrich Bullinger was a well-known Swiss reformer who was the head of the Zurich church as the successor of Huldrych Zwingli. Most researchers show how different he was form the earlier generation of reformers such as Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli. Bullinger was rather a consolidator; he added his own perspective to the theology and was a genius to think beyond just gathering the gospel riches that the people of Switzerland craved. Hence, it is believed after being long underestimated, that without him, the shape of theology of England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century would have been unimaginable1. Bullinger is known for being one of the most influential theologians in the history and specifically in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The life of Bullinger indicated how he had been raised for priesthood. His father was a Catholic priest and though he was a priest, he had married, mainly because of the loose enforcement of the vows of celibacy. Bullinger was the youngest of five sons. Bullinger’s parents are not much discussed, but the fact the Bullinger’s father came to confess on the doctrines of the Reformation when he was very old, is known. This may be probably because of the influence of his gifted son2. 2. Early Life Eventually Bullinger started with his formal education in the school of The Brethren of the Common Life in Cleves. While his education, his father gave him no money as he believed that his poverty is necessary for him to develop good habits and responsibilities in his life. However, like Luther, Bullinger was also subjected to sing to earn his living. Bullinger also wanted to enter a Carthusian monastery during his studies, but he was put off against his brother. And he rather set off to Germany to attend the University of Cologne when he was 15 years of age, as his parents expected him to follow the clergy just as Luther3. Bullinger went through many of the experiences and formations of his life while he was in Germany. It was in Cologne when he started studying about the scholastic theologians of the middle Ages. Soon he became disgusted of them, and rather turned his way to the church fathers, specifically Chrysostom and Augustine. He was involved in the lives of the church fathers and eventually became inspired by their writings, especially by their abundant use of Scripture. Prompted by the determination of the church fathers to ground all their doctrine in God’s Word, Bullinger turned his direction to the study of Scriptures4. Thus, as he involved himself more in the pleasure of reading Scriptures, he went through the writings of Martin Luther and used to be inspired by them greatly. These writings used to revolve throughout Germany at that time and thus Bullinger involved himself immensely in this world. It is these years of study in Germany that Bullinger spent and became one of those whose life was surrounded by the winds of reform that were let loose by Luther5. On returning to Switzerland with his master’s degree in 1522, Bullinger accepted the call by Wolfgung Rupli to teach in the cloister school. As he was already influenced by the thought of Reformation, he taught the monks form the New Testament and from Philip Melanchthon’s Loci Communes, which was considerably the first systematic theology of the Reformation. He also initiated the systematic
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