Confessional Harmony & Catholicity

The “Harmonia confessionum fidei” of 1581 was produced by Protestants in Geneva and Zurich in order to present a united front against Roman Catholicism. Jean-Francois Salvard was the chief assembler (though Beza and Deneau had a hand) of this harmony of Reformed confessions. It was, according to Schaff, the “first attempt at comparative Dogmatics or Symbolics.”

The preface should be posted on every theological web-forum, especially the ones run by us Reformed folks:

“Magnificently says Ambrosius somewhere: ‘There shall not be discord but concored among the servants of Christ.’ Since such an indolence, especially in godly matters, reigns in the human heart, that we do not understand things, which are by the way completely clear, it is not possible to deny, that we may gain a great deal of light on the basis of join inquiry and of amicable and brotherly deliberation. And above all, that seems useful and necessary, that the sense of each other may be sharpened, in order that (the gifts) given by the Lord to particular members of the Church, shall be communicated for the best of the whole body, and that all bad passion shall be put aside in order to listen to Christ, who is the Wisdom of the Father, as the only master and doctor of the Church, in order that he, being the prince of peace, shall unite our hearts through his spirit, so as to, if possible, we all share in the Lord one and the same mind” (quoted in Fritz Busser, “Freedom in reformed confessions of the 16th Century,” Zwingliana, 1984/2).


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