Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus Shapers of the Faith DVD
- Languages: English
- Release Date: 3/20/13
- Run Time: 60 minutes
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Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith
John Calvin was one of the most important intellects of the Christian faith. Ulrich Zwingli gave up everything to bring reform to the church. Brother Klaus left his home to lead a life as a mystic in the wilderness to hear from God. What do these three men have in common? They loved the Lord. . . and they all came from the beautiful land of Switzerland. As different as night and day, these three men, however, share a story that is connected by their common faith. From filmmaker Rainer Walde comes a documentary drama that weaves together the lives of these three giants of the faith—Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith. A celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and the story of the men that shaped their country and the church, Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith will inspire and encourage your faith.
Brother Klaus: Seeking God
Nicholas of Flüe was born in 1417 as the oldest son of two wealthy peasants. Little is known of his childhood, but at the age of twenty-one Nicholas—the man who would later become Brother Klaus—entered the military. The fifteenth century was a time of great unrest in Switzerland, and so, Nicholas served for over nine years. At the age of thirty, Nicholas decided to set up a home and farm with a farmer’s daughter named Dorthy Wiss. Together, the two farmed the land along Lake Sarnen with their ten children. Nicholas was a respected man in their community, and served as a judge and councilor for nine years. However, Nicholas’ life as a father and figurehead of his community was about to change as shown in the film Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith. In 1467, after receiving a vision that showed him his worldly life was swallowing his spiritual life, Nicholas left his wife and family, and with their permission, traveled into the wilderness to live as a hermit.
Despite his illiteracy, Nicholas soon became known as a wise kind man, and many individuals traveled from across Europe to seek his spiritual wisdom and council. His council even prevented a war between two Swiss cantons. After his death in 1487 his wisdom and council continued to be passed down between the Swiss people and many came to know Christ.
Brother Klaus, as the Swiss people came to call the loving hermit, is also a Catholic saint, canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.
Ulrich Zwingli: Sacrificial Faith
In 1848 Ulrich Zwingli, the second man featured in Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith. was born to a successful farmer in a small valley of the lower Alps. Zwingli had an early life filled with education, and though this early education did not contain much theology, he became a parish priest in Glarus in 1506. He took his early ministry very seriously, and carefully studied Hebrew, Greek, and Scripture, which was unusually for priests at this time. In fact, in 1519 he began preaching from the New Testament! In 1519, Zurich was struck by the Plague, and unlike many of the citizens Zwingli refused to leave, instead focusing on his ministry. Though he almost died, Zwingli’s faith was strengthened. . . and he began to doubt the power of the Catholic church. In 1522, Zwingli began to break the laws of the Church—secretly marrying and breaking the fast of Lent. By 1523 the first tied of Luther’s German Reformation were beginning to reach Switzerland, and Zwingli was ready to take his beliefs before the Church. In January of 1523 Zwingli presented his own sixty-seven theses to the Zurich Council. Although less in number than Luther’s theses, Zwingli’s were more persuasive, and so, the authorities allowed him to continue preaching. Zwingli began openly expressing a faith that put Christ first and the church second—the Swiss Reformation was underway. Zwingli’s role in the Swiss reformation would be short lived, however. After much work, Zwingli died in 1531 defending Zurich against a Catholic Army. The new branch of faith he had brought to his country, however, was still to continue forward as viewers see in Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith.
John Calvin: Carrying the Faith
Born in France in 1509 to a staunch Catholic family, John Calvin’s early life was heavily influenced by the Catholic faith. By the age of fourteen, John Calvin had moved to Paris and had begun several long years of university study. Though the new theological ideas of Luther were spreading throughout France, Calvin’s education was being paid for by the Catholic Church, and so his father warned him to stay distant from the new ideas. By 1527, however, Calvin had already become friends with many who followed the “reformed” faith, and by 1536 he was publishing books defending the Protestant faith. Because of his many contacts with those that opposed the Catholic Church, Calvin was forced to flee Paris. Settling in Geneva, Switzerland after a short stay in Germany. Calvin became an important spiritual and political leader in Geneva, eventually becoming the leader of the town. Under Calvin, Geneva became a center for Protestantism, sending pastors to the rest of Europe and founding Presbyterianism in Scotland, the Puritan Movement in England and the Reformed Church in the Netherlands. Emphasizing the sovereignty of scripture and divine predestination, Calvin, as discussed in Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith, is considered as one of the most important men of the second generation of the Reformation.
Award winning director Rainer Walde is able to share the stories of these three men of God, while showing how the faith of Switzerland’s church changed and evolved in the late Middle Ages. This docu-drama also shows how these changes ultimately impacted the church outside of Switzerland in the entire world.
Calvin Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith has not been rated by the Motion Picture Association of America and may include topics, scenes and issues not suitable for younger viewers. As always, it is recommended that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children, but the film Calvin, Zwingli, Brother Klaus: Shapers of the Faith is generally considered appropriate for most audiences.