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Martin Bucer

Fred Sanders posted a short introduction to Martin Bucer here. Reading it reminded me that I once wrote a not-so short introduction to Martin Bucer, and you can read that over here. Over the past 6 years, my own views have developed (or should I say “organically matured”?) somewhat, and so my take on Bucer is a little more mixed. He was affected by the Anabaptists in ways that were not always helpful, though I disagree with Dr. Sanders when he says that Bucer doesn’t really “belong” to any of the Protestant traditions. Even though “Anglican” and “Reformed” are tricky and mostly artificial terms, I think we can safely call Bucer “Reformed.” While it may be true that the majority of Lutherans and “Anglicans” would not be able to, or not want to, claim Bucer today, I would expect most Reformed theologians to do so.

Bucer’s top quality was his desire to achieve unity among Christians. He believed that the Lutherans and the Reformed should be able to unite, even around the doctrine of the Real Presence. He certainly thought that the Church of England was Reformed. He and Melanchthon even went to the ill-fated Regensburg Colloquy to hammer out a joint statement on justification.

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.

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