Theodore Beza And The Protestant Reformation

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Theodore Beza was a prominent figure in the Protestant Reformation who is often left out of the discussion of most important reformers at the time. To begin with, Beza’s rise to distinction in the French Reformed movement was sparked so quickly to the point that he must be observed as John Calvin’s coworker and friend rather than his successor (Steinmetz 114). The two companions often relied upon each other for advice to increase their knowledge and flourish in theology (Wolfe 230). His time with Calvin included a large amount of his spiritual growth and work, and continued to thrive for a little over forty years after Calvin’s time (Birth Pangs). Beza cannot be ignored from the face of the Protestant Reformation and his influence and…show more content…
Beza’s position and theological ideas did not come without criticism. Early in his career, slanders arose in his own lifetime from Roman Catholic opponents who trembled at the power of his pen (Hanko). Modernly, Calvinists charged Beza with corrupting Calvin’s teachings with new twists in which Calvin would have repudiated, especially his point of view on predestination and atonement of Christ (Hanko). It is pertained that these accusations may be more serious that many reformers in the seventeenth century gained knowledge from Beza instead of Calvin and that pure Calvinism has diminished over time (Hanko). The differences between Calvin and his ‘successor” did not stop there. When Calvin was teaching, he allowed the doctrine of election qualify for the doctrine of the atonement (Steinmetz 118). Beza had his own logical consistency in the argument that believed that Christ died only for the elect (Steinmetz 118). Another important difference to face is their views on the doctrine of justification. Calvin regarded this doctrine as both “forgiveness of sins for the sake of Christ and as imputation” (Steinmetz 118). However, Beza observed this as the active and passive obedience of Christ, an idea he obtained from the Lutheran theologian Flacius (Steinmetz 118). “Active obedience refers Christ’s whole life of choosing and performing the will of God as an obedient Son in his Father’s house. Passive obedience refers to Christ’s willing submission to death on the

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