October 2009 Archives

Blog 211: 4.15.1 - 4.15.8

Article by   October 2009
Having discussed the nature of the sacraments generally, Calvin moves to unpack the sacrament of baptism. He defines baptism as "the sign of the initiation by which we are received into the society of the church, in order that, engrafted... continue

Blog 210: 4.14.20 - 4.14.26

Article by   October 2009
Calvin argues that the Old Testament sacraments "looked to the same purpose to which ours now tend: to direct and almost lead men by the head to Christ" (4.14.20). In particular, circumcision, baptisms, and sacrifices in the Old Testament all... continue

Blog 209: 4.14.14 - 4.14.20

Article by   October 2009
While the sacraments are wonderful gifts given to us by God, we have to say that they are not required for salvation. Nor are they even required for assurance of salvation: "Assurance of salvation does not depend upon participation in... continue

Blog 208: 4.14.9 - 4.14.13

Article by   October 2009
Lest we think that we can stir up the faith required to receive the sacraments in a worthy fashion, God grants us his Spirit to accompany his Word and sacrament and to stir our hearts to cling to Christ. "The... continue

Blog 207: 4.14.4 - 4.14.8

Article by   October 2009
Following on his dictum that word and sign belong together, Calvin insists, "The sacrament requires preaching to begat faith." Far from the Romanist understanding that the mere "mumbling" of the word-based formula, "without meaning and without faith," was required, Calvin... continue

Blog 206: 4.13.18 - 4.14.3

Article by   October 2009
Calvin concludes his discussion on vows by discussing a misinterpretation of 1 Timothy 5:12 regarding widows who married, and whom Paul accuses of abandoning the faith. Calvin's view of this passage is that they renounce the promise of their commitment... continue

Blog 206: 4.13.11 - 4.13.17

Article by   October 2009
The corruption of monasticism in Calvin's day is evidenced by the boastful promise of perfection, and of a superior spirituality. When men boast that they are in a state in which they aspire to perfection more than others, and people... continue

Blog 205: 4.13.4 - 4.13.10

Article by   October 2009
Calvin's third principle for biblical vows is the mind in which such vows are undertaken. God looks on the heart. Calvin sees only four ends to which vows may legitimately be taken: to give thanks for God's goodness, to make... continue

Blog 204: 4.12.25 - 4.13.3

Article by   October 2009
In this section of the Institutes, Calvin addresses too issues that demonstrate the prevalence of corruption in the church. First is the issue of clerical celibacy. The insistence that priests remain unmarried has, says Calvin, 'no only deprived the church... continue

Blog 203: 4.12.19 - 4.12.24

Article by   October 2009
Calvin is here dealing with the subject of church power and discipline, and resumes his consideration of the subject of fasting. He has a marvellous three-point directive to ensure that fasting does not degenerate into religious superstition. First, we must... continue
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