In aÂ response to a commenter on a recent post, I pointed out that even those whom we consider today as theological giants are as grasshoppers compared with the intellectual and theological giants of the past, especially those from the Reformation and early post-Reformation periods.
One of those giants is Theodore Beza (1519-1605), the highly-respected Reformed apologist, exegete, teacher and pastor who succeeded John Calvin at Geneva. Creed or Chaos has posted a portion of Beza’s Confession of the Christian Faith (1558). Here’s an excerpt from his confession:
Finally, to crown the satisfaction for our sins which He took upon Himself (Is 53:4-5), He was captured in order to release us, condemned so that we might be acquitted. He suffered infinite reproach in order to place us beyond all shame. He was nailed to the cross for our sins to be nailed there (Col. 2:14). He died bearing the curse which we deserved, so as to appease forever the wrath of God through the accomplishment of His unique sacrifice (Gal 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb 10:10,14). He was entombed to show the truth of His death, and to vanquish death even in its own house, that is to say even in the grave; He experienced no corruption there, to show that, even while dead, he had conquered death (Acts 2:31). He was raised again victorious so that, all our corruption being dead and buried, we might be renewed in new, spiritual and eternal life (Rom 6; and nearly everywhere in St. Paul). By this means, the first death is no longer to us a punishment for sin and an entrance into the second death, but, on the contrary, is the ending of our corruption and an entrance into life eternal. Lastly, being raised again and then having spoken throughout forty days here below to give evidence of His resurrection (Acts 1:3,9-11), He ascended visibly and really far above all heavens, where He sat down at the right hand of God His Father (John 14:2). Having taken possession for us of His eternal kingdom, He is, for us also, the sole Mediator and Advocate (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 1:3; 9:24), and governs His Church by His Holy Spirit, until the number of the elect of God, His Father, is completed (Matt 28:20, etc).
Who among us today can match the 16th century Reformation’s characteristic clear, cohesive, coherent and elegant theological writings as seen briefly here in Beza?