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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Martyrs 22b: Juan Diaz-to Luther, abhorred Calvin

      This continues from Part 22a (TOC in Part 1a, Diaz TOC in Part 22a) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 22b continues with Fick's first of seven chapters on Juan Diaz, a Spanish Lutheran.  A Spaniard... a Lutheran?  I can still hardly believe this story...
Juan Diaz
from "Icones"
      There is a synopsis of Diaz' life on the Christian Cyclopedia here.  It used other sources of information than Fick used. One of those sources was (in English) from Edward Böhmer, based on a Quaker Benjamin Wiffen. – A second English language account comes from a Calvinist (Church of Scotland) C.G. McCrie, in  his book Beza's "Icones".   The grandfather of McCrie, Thomas McCrie D.D., had earlier written on Diaz.  All of these other accounts, Böhmer-Wiffen's account, C.G. McCrie's account, and Th. McCrie's account present the history of Diaz from a Reformed perspective, which almost always either omits or falsifies certain details relating to the Lutheran aspects.  Although these are easy reading for an English-speaking Lutheran like me, yet I much prefer to read Hermann Fick's account as the true Lutheran account.  Too much of Church History is confused by Reformed historians... some even in part by the LC-MS Christian Cyclopedia.

Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Juan Diaz.
Chapter 1
Juan Diaz was born in Cuença, New Castile [Castilla La Mancha], a province of the Kingdom of Spain. From his youth he enjoyed an excellent education.  After he was trained in the colleges of Spain, he went to the University of Paris, where he studied thirteen years, with all diligence, and especially devoted himself to theology.  He was so talented that he was held with the best minds among the Spaniards.  In Latin and Greek, he acquired excellent knowledge, and surpassed all his countrymen in the study of the Hebrew language.  That's why the professors and other excellent scholars  preferred him above all other Spaniards who were numerous at the time in Paris, and was beloved and highly respected.
Here in Paris is also where he came to the knowledge of the saving truth.  Because he also diligently studied the Holy Scriptures in addition to the Liberal Arts [saving truth not from Liberal Arts, or “humanism”], learned Hebrew only for the purpose of thoroughly understanding the Old Testament, and ernestly prayed without ceasing, God would bring him to the right knowledge of His holy will.  He soon realized what was a difference there was between the then vain scholastic theology and the pure doctrine.  [vain scholastic theology – like the provost of Concordia Seminary, Prof. Jeffrey Kloha]  Awakened by Luther's writings, he also read Calvin's books.  And as he sought to preserve the treasure of the faith in a pure conscience and sincerely to do God's will, so he became aware of what the Gospel of God is, and daily it became dear to him.   Close friendship united him here with another like-minded Spaniard, Jayme Enzinas [or Jaime Enzinas, or Diego de Enzinas],  who would receive the crown of martyrdom in the same year as Juan Diaz; for he lost his life in 1546 at Rome at the stake.  Also he had contact with some secret pupils of Calvin. [page 147]
While Diaz was staying in Paris, the French parliament, which worked with all its strength for the preservation of the Roman Catholic religion, issued bloodthirsty orders against all followers of the pure doctrine.  Diaz therefore had to fear persecution.  For this purpose, he longed to publicly confess the truth.  So he left Paris in the company of Matthew Buddäus and John Crespin and went to Geneva, where Calvin had returned from his exile recently.  There he lived for a time in the house of a Spaniard Nicolas de Sallars, who was an evangelical preacher.  However, he did not stay long there.  He abhorred Calvin's callous and opinionated nature, so too his doctrine that appeared hard and far different from the teaching of the ancient church.  Therefore he left to seek another teacher and moved to Basel, and from thence to Strasbourg to the famous Martin Bucer, who was then entirely on Luther's side.  When he saw that his new student was sufficiently receptive to his teaching, which was milder than the Calvinistic, Bucer made him a perfect Lutheran.
But the blessed Diaz also testified to the truth by a blameless conduct.  He was kind to everyone, beneficent, conscientious, pious, sincere and earnest in all things.  He was particularly zealous and devout in prayer, which he always was doing kneeling.  Also, he had not only a great learning, but also an excellent eloquence with which he knew how to explain the main article of the Christian faith and defend against the gainsayers, and to refute error.  In particular, he denied the error, which the Roman theologians openly admit, that even the pious and faithful should doubt their salvation.  He used to specify several terrible examples of how some Papists were finally driven by such doubts to despair and suicide.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Cont'd in Part 22c = = = = = = = = = = = =
In all other accounts of Diaz, little or no mention is given of his movement to the Lutheran doctrine as opposed to that of John Calvin...  but "scholars" will likely scoff at this point by Hermann Fick.  Let them, but dear reader know this, that Hermann Fick's Lutheran heart saw the truth better than the Reformed historians.  —  In the next Part 22c is Chapter 2 of Fick's account of the Spanish Lutheran, Juan Diaz.

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