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Abstract from Article

Heinrich Bullinger, the Covenant, and the Reformed Tradition in Retrospect
Baker, J W

Published: Sixteenth Century Journal, XXIX/2 (1998), 359 and further.


This paper is a response to the criticism of my interpretation of Heinrich Bullinger in Heinrich Bullinger and the Covenant: The Other Reformed Tradition (1980) and (coauthored with Charles S. McCoy) Fountainhead of Federalism (1991). Criticism has focused on four aspects of my interpretation: (1) the centrality of the covenant in his thought, (2) whether his was a bilateral covenant, (3) whether he disagreed with Calvin on predestination, and (4) whether there were two Reformed traditions. After again carefully examining Bullinger's works – eight early manuscript writings; thirty published works from 1526 to 1574; and relevant correspondence – I generally reiterate my earlier position on these four issues: (1) the covenant was the leading pervasive conviction in Bullinger's theology, (2) it was a bilateral, conditional covenant, (3) he taught a moderate, single predestination in contrast to Calvin's double predestination, and (4) Bullinger's (Zurich) theology was the basis for the original Reformed tradition to which Calvin and the Calvinists presented a later alternative in the matter of the covenant and predestination.

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