A Central European Synthesis of Radical and Magisterial Reform: The Sacramental Theology of Balthasar Hubmaier
- Publish Date: 2006-06-29
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Kirk R. MacGregor
Challenging the widespread classification of evangelical theologian Balthasar Hubmaier (1480-1528) as a Schleitheim-adhering Anabaptist, this book argues that Hubmaier should instead be understood as a bridge between the Radical and Magisterial branches of the Reformation. Paramount among this book's new discoveries is the overarching three-tiered structure of Hubmaier's theological system, consisting of a libertarian anthropology, sacramental theology, and ecclesiology. While recent studies have demonstrated the favorable reception of Bernard of Clairvaux by Luther and Calvin, this book reveals that Bernard also exerted a profound impact upon Hubmaier's anthropology. Consequently, Hubmaier crafted highly philosophically realist doctrines of believers' baptism and the Eucharist as grace-imparting sacraments instead of ordinances without salvific power. In Hubmaier's baptism, God not only regenerated neophytes, but also predestined them to final salvation. By partaking of the Eucharist, Hubmaier insisted that believers themselves (not the bread and wine) were literally consubstantiated with the physical body of Christ. Intertwining church discipline with sacramental reception, Hubmaier devised a strikingly progressive ecclesiology in which free churches were administered by local governments. This book provides for a deeper understanding of one of the 16th century's most creative and sophisticated thinkers.