Friday, February 10, 2006

Wise Leadership and Prudent Consolidation

From David Steinmetz, Reformers in the Wings, p. 99:

When [Heinrich] Bullinger died in 1575, he could look back on a long career, marked not so much by brilliant innovation as by prudent consolidation. He conserved the gains made by Zwingli and built on them...

Bullinger is less important for his originality than for his wisdom. He was the humane and compassionate pastor pastorum, whose learning and gifts were modestly put at the service of others. Precisely because he was less innovative than either Zwingli or Calvin, he was better able than either to state in a way that transcended factional differences the hard lines of the faith of the Reformed church. Without Zwingli there would have been no Reformation in Zurich; without Bullinger it would not have lasted.

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