Info

most powerful of the Silesian dukes. The Catholic bishop of Breslau withdrew into his own principality in 1524, allowing secular rulers to seize control of the church. By that time, however, Schwenckfeld too was increasingly disturbed by the lack of visible moral improvement among Luther's followers. Karlstadt's and Zwingli's objections to the real presence occasioned a second Heimsuchung. Schwenckfeld became convinced that Luther's teaching on the eucharist had blocked the awaited progress. In Schwenckfeld's experience, many Lutherans believed that since Christ was corporally present simple reception of the eucharist brought salvation. However, Schwenckfeld reasoned, Judas had shared in the bread and wine at the Last Supper and he had certainly not been saved. A vision revealed a new interpretation of Luther's proof-texts (Matt. 26:26; Luke 22:19) to Valentine Crautwald (14651545), a learned Silesian humanist. Armed with his own argument from Judas and Crautwald's exegesis, Schwenckfeld travelled to Wittenberg in early 1525 to present their findings to Luther and the others. Luther rejected the Silesians' position and condemned them along with Karlstadt and Ulrich Zwingli (14841531). In 1526 Schwenckfeld, Crautwald and the clergy of Liegnitz suspended (Stillstand) the Lord's Supper. Under the influence of Crautwald's Augustini-anism, Schwenckfeld became increasingly spiritualistic. In yet a third Heimsuchung (1527), Schwenckfeld broke completely with Luther and embraced a thoroughgoing Spiritualism. Forced into exile in 1529, he spent the rest of his life in the cities and on noble estates of southern Germany, where he clashed with Zwinglians, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anabaptists. He died in the city of Ulm (1561) leaving behind circles of followers in southern Germany and a more substantial popular movement in Silesia.

Schwenckfeld's core teaching on the Celestial Flesh of Christ argued that even in his humanity Christ had not been a creature, but rather the Son of God. He owed nothing to his mother save nurture. Sinners, by their participation in Christ's flesh, became New Men that led visibly Christian lives marked by love, patience, and forgiveness. Rebirth was the inner baptism and participation in the Glorified Christ constituted the inner supper. Since outer ceremonies were merely memorial signs of the inner sacraments, they were inessential and in abeyance until Christ's second coming would reinstitute a visible church. In the interim, Christians edified and consoled each other in small groups that Schwenckfeld denied were churches.

In Strasbourg, where many of the radicals sought a haven, he had encountered Sebastian Franck (1499-1542), the most 'modern' of the radicals. Of obscure origins in the south German city of Donauworth, Franck witnessed Luther's Heidelberg Disputation (1518). Initially ordained as a Catholic priest,

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Angel Ascendancy

Angel Ascendancy

Be Prepared To See Massive Changes In Your Destiny Guided By The Archangels. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Guide To Communicate With Archangels For Life.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment