Thursday, 6 January 2011

Chytraeus on the Gospel

"How is a person justified before God? This occurs solely by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ; that is, freely, not because of any works or merits of one's own but only because of the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, who became the sacrificial victim and propitiation on our behalf. By this sacrifice, man obtained forgiveness of sins and became righteous; that is, God-pleasing and acceptable. His righteousness was imputed to man for Christ's sake, and man becomes an heir of eternal life when he believes with certainty that God gives him these blessings for the sake of His Son."

David Chytraeus*, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568),
Eng. trans. by Richard Dinda, Repristination Press, 1994. p. 105.

*Born David Kochhafe (1531–1600) at Ingelfingen, Württemberg; studied law, philology, philosophy, and theology at Tübingen, theology at Wittenberg (under P. Melanchthon, M. Luther, P. Eber); taught languages at Heidelberg 1546; returned to Tübingen 1547; lectured on rhetoric, astronomy, and Melanchthon's Loci communes at Wittenberg 1548; traveled abroad ca. 1550; prof. of religion 1551, theol. 1553 at Rostock. Present at Diets of Augsburg 1555 and 1566, Consultation of Worms 1557; with other theologians at the 1561 Naumburg Diet he warned against “the acceptance of the later editions” of the AC; wrote reactions of Rostock U. to Weimar Confutation 1567; helped prepare Kirchenordnung for Lower and Upper Austria 1569, Styria 1574; mem. of consistory of Rostock 1570; rewrote articles on free will (II) and Lord's Supper (VII) for Swabian-Saxon Concordia 1574; one of 17 who prepared Torgau Book 1576; produced the Bergen Book with Jakob Andreä, M. Chemnitz, N. Selnecker, A. Musculus, and C. Cornerus. Works include Chronicon Saxoniae; Historia Augustanae Confessionis; Commentaries.
(Adapted from Christian Cyclopedia, http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/cyclopedia)

Note - If the biographical details above are correct (some bios put DC's birth year as 1530), he had already studied under Luther (+1546) and was teaching languages at Heidelberg by the age of 16, and within a year was lecturing on rhetoric, astronomy and theology at Wittenberg (W'berg was a leading centre of astronomy in the 16th C.). Impressive, yes? It's a pity Chytraeus is so little known today; like the other Lutheran confessors, he was an impressively learned man even in an age of great learning.

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