The Colloquy of Montbeliard: Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century

By Jill P. Raitt | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 3

Beza and Luther's De servo arbitrio

In Beza's 1587Responsio there is no detailed response to the last three subjects of the colloquy, namely, images and music in the churches, baptism, and predestination. Rather, Beza goes from the discussion of the person of Christ directly to an Extract from the Little Book of Dr. Luther regarding the Bondage of the Will in His Dispute with Erasmus. He presents his excerpts rather abruptly with a simple statement that "these are the passages which I have taken from Dr. Luther's book."1 I will indicate here what Beza included and, perhaps more importantly, what he omitted.

Beza began with that section in The Bondage of the Will in which Luther discusses God preached, God hidden, God's revealed will, and God's secret will. In the first passage, Beza omitted a section that dealt with Paul and Thessalonians discussing the Antichrist, and he emphasized only those parts that have to do immediately with the question of the majesty of God and his hiddenness and secretness. Beza also omitted those portions that dealt directly with arguments that were particularly Roman Catholic and directed against Erasmus's defense of the doctrine of free will. Since even Beza would not assert that the Lutherans were teaching a doctrine of free will, this is not to the point for Beza. Beza therefore skipped a considerable portion that has to do primarily with the subject of free will and moved on to the secret will of the divine majesty. His excerpts here are full and unaltered. Beza quoted Luther, arguing that "God must be left to Himself in His own majesty" and that there are matters that God "does not disclose to us in His word; He also wills many things which He does not disclose Himself as willing in His word. Thus He does not will the death of a sinner, according to His word; but He wills it according to that inscrutable will of His." All of these arguments are extremely forceful for Beza's own position.

Beza then skipped a number of lengthy paragraphs directed by Luther against specifically Roman Catholic arguments regarding free will and continued with the secret will of the divine majesty, "which," he quoted Luther, "is not a matter for debate." His quotations here leave out only small portions that he thought might be omitted without weakening his argument; neither do they undercut anything that Beza had said. He then skipped another longish portion directed against the Roman Catholic doctrine of merit and moved on through a quite long section against Erasmus.

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The Colloquy of Montbeliard: Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 10
  • 1 - Ancient Liberties and Evangelical Reform 11
  • Notes 32
  • 2 - The Political Background 45
  • Notes 60
  • 3 - The Lord's Supper 73
  • Notes 100
  • 4 - The Person of Christ 110
  • Notes 126
  • 5 - Images, Baptism, and Predestination 134
  • 6 - Aftermath (1): Polemics and Politics 160
  • Notes 176
  • 7 - Aftermath (2): The Larger Scene 187
  • Notes 192
  • Appendix 1 Appendix: in Which Is Taught, What Was Done, Regarding the Communication and Protest of the French Exiles After the Colloquy of Montbéliard 197
  • Notes 201
  • Appendix 2 - Instrument 203
  • Appendix 3 207
  • Note 210
  • Bibliography of Works Cited 211
  • Index 221
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