CONCERNING TRUE CARE OF SOULS
First time ever available in English, this Reformation handbook of pastoral theology … sets out in a vivid and persuasive way, biblical principles .
For more than twenty-five years Martin Bucer was the undisputed leader of the Protestant Reformation in the city of Strasbourg. Yet he never managed to achieve all that he wished due to the opposition of the city s political leaders. In 1548 he moved at the invitation of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to England, where he spent the last few years of his life as Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.
Ten years earlier, in 1538, Bucer produced what he called this little book . A Reformation handbook of pastoral theology, it sets out his ideal of a godly Christian society, and was written solely for the Lord s glory and the improvement of his church at this time when Christ s sheep are so deplorably scattered . He commended it to the Christian consideration of all God s children, asking only that nothing should be judged according to carnal standards, but everything according to the word of the Lord. And added, May the Lord grant that it will be of much use for his kingdom. Although largely rejected by the government of Strasbourg, Bucer s Concerning the True Care of Souls met with much more success further afield and was to exercise a vast influence in later history. In Hesse, for example, a church order was introduced based on Bucer s ideas, and in Strasbourg itself they were implemented in the French refugee community pastored from 1538 to 1541 by the young John Calvin, who had a great respect for Bucer and worked closely with him.