Zwingli on Reforming the Church

Here’s a great paragraph on how Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli approached the task of reforming the church:

Some radicals in Zurich began to see Zwingli as a bottleneck, restricting the flow of the Spirit being poured out for the work of reformation. They wanted to remove the hindrance and force the pace. However, lack of drama in Zurich should not be confused too easily with lack of reformation. Zwingli knew that getting the hammers out, however exciting, would not effect real change. Rather, he believed, the true secret of reform is to change individual hearts by the application of the gospel. External reformation of the churches must flow from that inward conversion if it is to be anything more than cosmetic surgery. Thus, instead of campaigning for change, Zwingli dedicated himself to preaching God’s word. Having primed the people, he would then wait for them to demand the change God’s word requires. The results were not speedy, but they had an almost unique durability even beyond his own death. When changes came in Zurich, they came from deep and popular conviction that God’s word commanded them, and so they stuck.

From Michael Reeves, The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation (Nashville: B&H, 2009), 71.


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4 Responses to Zwingli on Reforming the Church

  1. Jason Scott says:

    I started this book last night did not want to put it down.

  2. Kendall Harris says:

    Thank you for this post. An excellent reminder for the church.

  3. Habila Dauda says:

    I really accept Zwingli

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