Translated Sermon #35: Thus Far the Lord has Helped Us by Rácz Norbert Zsolt

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonThusFartheLordhasHelpedUs.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2018 by Rácz Norbert Zsolt on the occasion of the unveiling of the  full size statue of Dávid Ferenc.   The statue is located near the Downtown Unitarian Church in Kolozsvár where Rácz Norbert Zsolt is the lead minister. The sermon uses the example of Samuel erecting the Ebenezer stone as a metaphor to describe the current situation that lead to the erection of the statue. Zsolt is urging us to keep the memory of this victory of the erection of the statue, so future generations will believe and will trust in the Lord and in His providence.  The partner church for the owntown Unitarian Church in Kolozsvár is King’s Chapel in Boston.

Translated Sermon #34: Bishopric inauguration sermon by Varga Béla

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonInauguration VargaBela.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 1938 by Dr. Varga Béla. He was elected bishop of the Hungarian Unitarian Church in 1938, and stayed in office till 1940. He returned to teaching philosophy and theology from 1940 till his death in 1942.  In his inauguration sermon Bishop Varga identifies the cause of restlessness and hopelessness in society as the consequence of mankind losing sight of each person being a child and coworker of God. “Only unconditional love can do away with the restlessness” he writes.

Translated Sermon #32: True Fairy Tale by Lázár Levente

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTrueFairyTale.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2009 by Lázár Levente. He is the minister at the Unitarian Church of Korond, in Transylvania. He was a Balazs scholar at the Starr King School for the Ministry in 2010-2011. The Korond Church is partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, FL. The sermon includes the description of the birth of Jesus phrased as a fairy tale.  Levente urges us to use our inner child to accept and believe the Christmas story in the Gospel, and to believe instead of asking verification minute details in the story.

Translated Sermon #31: Funeral Sermon The Origin and Attributes of Justice by Szentábrahámi Lombárd Mihály

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: FuneralSermonBiroSamuel.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 1721 by Szentábrahámi Lombárd Mihály, and was preached in Latin over the casket of homoródszentmártoni Bíró Sámuel.   The title: “The Origin and Attributes of Justice” is very fitting, because the deceased was a judge of the Royal Court of Law.  The time period represents the height of the effort of the Habsburg Empire to rid Transylvania of Unitarians through forced catholicization, confiscation of property, denial of book printing, and the denial of promotion to high offices. Homoródszentmártoni Bíró Sámuel was one of those rare instances where a Unitarian was promoted to be councilor at the Royal Court of Law, so his death was a serious blow to the cause of Unitarians.  The preacher became the Bishop of Transylvanian Unitarian church in 1738. He is best know as the author of the most detailed explanations regarding Transylvanian Unitarian theology.

Translated Sermon #30: Concio CXCIV by Enyedi György

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonConcioCXCIV.

Summary of sermon: The author of the sermon deserves as much attention as the topic.  Enyedi György was the third bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, until his death in 1597. He is called in some Hungarian language literature as the “Unitarian Plato”, because most of his writings and sermons focuses on the explanations of Bible verses.  He is noted for using everyday, mundane metaphors to teach the congregation about the meaning behind the words of Christ.  Hungarian translations of the Bible began to spread in his time, and it was important to teach churchgoers on their mother tongue about it.

The topic of the sermon represents a  continuation of the teachings of David Ferenc, who wrote  and preached about the reasoning why Antitrinitarians (today’s Unitarians) find the concept of the Trinity unacceptable.  This sermon is the third part in a series of teachings on Psalm 2. I have previously shared the two preceeding sermons, Concio CXCII and Concio CXCIII. This sermon relies on verse 8 of Psalm 2 to complete the Antitrinitarian argument that Jesus Christ is not a person of the Godhead.  Enyedi wrote and preached this sermon under the extreme stress of persecution of the Unitarian Church in the form of confiscations of property, and forced catholicization of Unitarians.

In this sermon you look through a window into late XVIth century Transylvania, and hear the words of a contemporary of Shakespeare.  So, sit back, relax, allow your time machine to take you back to around 1597, and enjoy this gem of a sermon, available the first time in English.

Translated Sermon #29: The Gift of God by Mezei Csaba

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTheGiftofGod.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2010.   The sermon interprets a verse from the Old Testament in the book of Ecclesiastes; the wisdom related to the gift of God.    Mezei Csaba is an ordained Transylvanian unitarian minister serving at the Iris telep church in Kolozsvár.  They are partnered with the First Church in Boston, Massachusetts.    Mezei Csaba was a Starr King School of Ministry Balazs scholar in 1997-1998. He was a lecturer at the 2016 Minns Lectures.

Translated Sermon #28: Concio CXCIII by Enyedi György

The full text of the translated sermon (in conjunction with Concio CXCII) is published in print by the Journal of Unitarian Universalist History, 2021, Volume XLIV, pages 94-113.  In accordance with the publishing contract the full text of the translated sermon is now available on this website as Translated Sermon #28. From the main page of unitariantorch.com select the horizontal line “Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons”, and scroll to and click on “SermonConcioCXCIII”

If you wish to see the back to back translation of Concio CXCII and CXCIII together with the expert historical analysis of Dr. Lovas Borbala, then please contact the Journal for a copy ($15). Dr Lovas Borbala is a historian who specializes in the Unitarian sermonic literature of the XVIth century,

Summary of sermon: The author of the sermon deserves as much attention as the topic.  Enyedi György was the third bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, until his death in 1597. He is called in some Hungarian language literature as the “Unitarian Plato”, because most of his writings and sermons focuses on the explanations of Bible verses.  He is noted for using everyday, mundane metaphors to teach the congregation about the meaning behind the words of Christ.  Hungarian translations of the Bible began to spread in his time, and it was important to teach churchgoers on their mother tongue about it.

The topic of the sermon represents a  continuation of the teachings of David Ferenc, who wrote  and preached about the reasoning why Antitrinitarians (today’s Unitarians) find the concept of the Trinity unacceptable.  This sermon relies on the verses 7-8 of Psalm 2 to continue the Antitrinitarian argument that Jesus Christ is not a person of the Godhead.  Enyedi wrote and preached this sermon under the extreme stress of persecution of the Unitarian Church in the form of confiscations of property, and forced catholization of Unitarians.

In this sermon you look through a window into late XVIth century Transylvania, and hear the words of a contemporary of Shakespeare.  So, sit back, relax, allow your time machine to take you back to around 1597, and enjoy this gem of a sermon, available the first time in English.

Translated Sermon #27: Concio CXCII by Enyedi György

The full text of the translated sermon (in conjunction with Concio CXCIII) is published in print by the Journal of Unitarian Universalist History, 2021, Volume XLIV, pages 94-113. In accordance with the publishing contract the full text of the translated sermon is now available on this website as Translated Sermon #2. From the main page of unitariantorch.com select the horizontal line “Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons”, and scroll to and click on “SermonConcioCXCII”

If you wish to see the back to back translation of Concio CXCII and CXCIII together with the expert historical analysis of Dr. Lovas Borbala, then please contact the Journal for a copy ($15). Dr Lovas Borbala is a historian who specializes in the Unitarian sermonic literature of the XVIth century,

Summary of sermon: The author of the sermon deserves as much attention as the topic.  Enyedi György was the third bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, until his death in 1597. He is called in some Hungarian language literature as the “Unitarian Plato”, because most of his writings and sermons focuses on the explanations of Bible verses.  He is noted for using everyday, mundane metaphors to teach the congregation about the meaning behind the words of Christ.  Hungarian translations of the Bible began to spread in his time, and it was important to teach churchgoers on their mother tongue about it.

The topic of the sermon represents a  continuation of the teachings of David Ferenc, who wrote  and preached about the reasoning why Antitrinitarians (today’s Unitarians) find the concept of the Trinity unacceptable.  This sermon relies on the verses 1-6 of Psalm 2 to make the Antitrinitarian argument that Jesus Christ is not a person of the Godhead.  Enyedi wrote and preached this sermon under the extreme stress of persecution of the Unitarian Church in the form of confiscations of property, and forced catholization of Unitarians.

In this sermon you look through a window into late XVIth century Transylvania, and hear the words of a contemporary of Shakespeare.  So, sit back, relax, allow your time machine to take you back to around 1597, and enjoy this gem of a sermon, available the first time in English.

Translated Sermon #26: With God, in the Service of Mankind by Szabó Dezső

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonWithGodintheServiceofMankind.

Summary of sermon: This sermon was written in 1971.   The sermon is urging us to follow the command of Jesus to the disciples in Mark 10: 42-44, and dedicate our lives to the service of everyone. The author passes down to us the flame of commitment to service.  The circumstances of the writer of this sermon is also something to think about.  Szabó Dezső was an ordained unitarian minister in the village of Nagyajta until 1959, when he was arrested on charges that he committed acts that challenged the ruling communist order. He was sentenced to 20 years of prison.  He received amnesty, and then he eventually became a minister in Kolozsvár.   It is a magnificent expression of dignity, and following the ideal of Jesus when Szabó Dezső responds with the words of this sermon to the monumental injustice perpetrated on him. His grandson, Korodi Alpár, is a teacher of history in the János Zsigmond Unitárius Kollegium (Unitarian High School) in Kolozsvár.  The Nagyajta Unitárius Egyházközség is partnering with the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin.

Translated Sermon #25: Turning Toward God by Tódor Csaba

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTurningTowardGod.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2009.   The sermon interprets the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus as described in the Book of John, Chapter 3, verses 2-10; it encourages us to go the extra mile, to turn toward God, and to become someone who is born of the Spirit.    Tódor Csaba is an ordained Transylvanian unitarian minister serving at the Székelykeresztúr church.  They are partnered with the First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts.    Tódor Csaba was a Starr King School of Ministry Balazs scholar in 2004-2004. He is a contributor to the practical theology booklets titled Unitárius Szószék.

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