Guy De Bres On Reformed Agreement With The Lutherans

This document is entitled, “Concord between the Doctors of Wittenberg and the Doctors of the Imperial Cities in Greater Germany.”

My above-mentioned lord has commanded me to write to you, so that you would think carefully about this — because we want you to be in agreement with the Germans, having the same confession of the main things, in order to break entirely the force of the pope.

If we were all united in doctrine, no one could touch us without offending people throughout Germany. This would be an invaluable benefit for us and would serve to shut the mouths of those who say that we are not united. Also, our poor country would be greatly relieved by this means. When they ask what we are trying to accomplish with our reformation, it would be easier to answer them. It is true that the aforementioned document looks disagreeable at first glance, but if we want to, it is possible to see it in a better light.

The Duke sent us to Metz to communicate this matter to our brothers in the ministry in that city–which we have done. At first glance, they had difficulties with the statement, just as we did. However, after all things were considered, they have agreed with us in the opinion that we could agree with the Germans on the point of the Lord’s Supper, following the statement that Mr. Bucer gave at the end. That is already a great accomplishment for us, since we are not divided with them on this point.

1565 Letter of Guy De Brès to the Consistory of Antwerp, translated by Wes Bredenhof, from Guy de Brès: Pages Choisies, E. M. Braekman (Brussels: Les Cahiers Calvinistes, 1967), 30–34 in Wes Bredenhof, The Beautiful Bride of Christ.


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  1. Wow “we could agree with the Germans on the point of the Lord’s Supper”?! Any chance of posting “the statement that Mr. Bucer gave at the end”? Is that a known historical document?

    And what would confessional artifacts look like if this proposed union had worked? (Would we all just be the Luthreformed? Presbylutherans?)

  2. The statement of Bucer is in the rest of the letter. To read the rest, you might just have to buy the book. 🙂

    Proceeds go to a good cause: Reformed seminary education in Brazil.

    • Good to know; sounds very interesting. RSC, maybe you should set up an OfficeHours interview, that could also help drive some sales through the (DING DING) WSCAL bookstore!

  3. Hi Ruben,

    To the best of my knowledge the text of the Concord is not online.

    Here’s an essay by Amy Nelson Burnett, who teaches Reformation history at Nebraska, on the 1536 Wittenberg Concord as it was received by Myconius in Basle.

    Here is an essay by Kittleson and Schurb from the Concordia Theological Quarterly on the Concord.

  4. Dr. Clark, Wes, would this be related to what confessional Lutherans call the “crypto-Calvinist” controversy in Wittenberg after Luther’s death? The Formula of Concord was in part a response to that, if I’m not mistaken. Thanks.

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