Zwinglius Redivivus

Of all the Christians in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was the Anabaptists who were most vociferously anti-intellectual and anti-education.  Anabaptists derided learning and claimed that their possession of ‘the spirit’ alone equipped them to speak of and for God.

All Christian anti-intellectualism in the modern church can trace its roots to the Anabaptists; despisers of learning in the Church unknown before their movement.

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  1. Hey Born, I’m finding that the history on the anabaptists is pretty fuzzy. From what I am finding, it seems that anyone who wasn’t catholic or protestant was put in the anabaptist camp. Do you know if that’s true or not? Everything I seem to read says there there was really no unified anabaptist movement (not sure how to phrase that) rather lots of different sects who were all very different. Is this fun fact speaking of the Swiss anabaptists that Zwingli had a hand in drowning over their baptism beliefs or all of them? The more I read about that time in history, seems to me that everyone, regardless of what movement they followed were a little bit uh….violent about it…even some anabaptist sects. What history can we believe if history is written by the winners you know? I did find some stuff that said that some sects were so into the spiritual that they put their internal spiritual feelings above the world of God (which ok, for how many years did people go without the written word…I can see how that happens) but did they all do that? It’s just hard to sort this out. Anabaptist almost seems like a generic name for people who didn’t want the state involved in religion, didn’t believe in the power of the pope and believed that the sacraments were symbolic and that baptism is reserved for believers, were generally pacifists (though not all) and didn’t belong to the other major denominations at the time (protestant or catholic) but that what they had in common with the reforms was salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Other than that, seems they ran the gamit as far as beliefs. Some because unitarian if I remember it correctly, some were antitrinitarian, some were “spiritists” for lack of a better term and some were completely orthodox.

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    • That’s more etail than I ever knew about the Anabaptists. While I was working out this evening I listened to one of the lessons in church history from Covenant Seminary I had listened to before and received a refresher also. Your article is by far the best treatment in a single piece I know of. I downloaded it for posterity and put it in my church history files.

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