Ulrich Zwingli. Perhaps you have heard of him. I certainly had not so I was eager to learn more about this 1500s reformer from the Bitesize Biographies series from Evangelical Press Books. William Boekestein, the author of Ulrich Zwingli, gives the reader an in-depth look into Zwingli’s life and ministry.
His ministry would begin in 1506 at the Catholic Church of Glarus in Switzerland. His religious education was lacking but upon this position he began to study the languages and was greatly influenced by Erasmus who helped him understand the sufficiency of Christ.
In 1518 he would become the pastor of the Great Minister Church of Zurich even after confessing to sexual improprieties. This led him to appeal four years later to the bishop of Constance for permission for priests to marry but he would have no success. He married Anna Reinhart in 1524 and continued his pastoral position.
Zwingli was a defender of the evangelical church against the criticisms of the Roman Church. Catholicism was being purged in Zurich with Zwingli in the lead. After leading reforms in education, sacraments and morals the Zurich church broke with Rome in 1525.
Zwingli would come against some of the beliefs of the Anabaptists and Martin Luther. In 1531 the Catholic states would engage in war against Zurich. Over 500 Zurich men died in just a few hours. Twenty-five pastors were selectively killed as heretics. Zwingli was caring for a wounded comrade when he was struck in the head by an enemy’s stone. His last words were:
“What matters this misfortune? They may kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul.”
There is much more to learn of Zwingli in this well documented account of his life. This book gives us insight into a little known man who fought for Christ to be known.
I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for a honest review.