Faith for all of life simply isn't something new under the sun. Faithful Christians passed this way before: it was present in the very midst of the Reformation, it rubbed shoulders with the great Reformers, it was recognized (in the person of Viret) as a highly-respected, compelling aspect of the recovery of Biblical faith in the sixteenth century.
The life and theological greatness of Pierre Viret remains unknown to the church at large. Is this also the work of God? Has He thus withheld His Reformer, perhaps awaiting the time when, in His providence, Viret’s life and thought shall be most needed for His church?
Viret’s observations, though over four centuries past, are as timely as if he were peering through a window to our modern age. His timeless and extraordinary wisdom unmask the accepted political corruption of the present day.
Pierre Viret was undoubtedly (with Martin Luther) one of the finest popularizers of the Christian faith in the sixteenth century. But his deep concern for the spiritual needs of the common people never led him (as is all too common today) to debase the content of his theological teaching.
Christian leaders and political conservatives have sounded the call back to a constitutional republic. But unless this republicanism is built firmly on the Christian civil order defined by Holy Scripture, it will fail.
The portrait is an excellent introduction to the word-portrait of Viret drawn up by Jean-Marc Berthoud in this handsomely produced little book (just 85 pages, not counting the appendix).
One of the more moving verses of the Bible is Zechariah 14:7: “But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”