December 2009 Archives

Blog 244: 4.20.27 - 4.20.32

Article by   December 2009
Calvin's sensitivity to the different circumstances in which people live lead him to flip-flop, or at least to be somewhat ambivalent in his attitude to the magistrate. Citing the case of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27), Scripture requires obedience to bad kings, and... continue

Blog 243: 4.20.10 - 4.20.26

Article by   December 2009
No doubt having the Anabaptists in mind,  and having already defended the right to litigate, Calvin proceeds to defend the entire judicial process. He discourages using the law for the taking of revenge, but upholds the use of due process,... continue

Blog 242: 4.20.12 - 4.20.18

Article by   December 2009
Calvin borrows the idea of a just war from Augustine. Everything is to be tried in order to preserve the peace before war is declared, though waging war obviously means that reparations must be made, if necessary. A consideration of... continue

Blog 241: 4.20.8 - 4.20.11

Article by   December 2009
Calvin here shows two things - his concern about the dangers of tyrannical government, and also his apparently relaxed attitude regarding forms of political government. You may say that he derives the possible forms from the ancient world, but in fact... continue

Blog 240: 4.20.2 - 4.20.7

Article by   December 2009
Calvin has already established his understanding of "a twofold government" to which human beings are subject: an inward government in which God rules over the individual human soul for eternal life and an outward government in which God through human... continue

Blog 239: 4.19.33 - 4.20.1

Article by   December 2009
Marriage has been instituted by God, but it is not a sacrament. Many are the good things which God has instituted, but that does not make them sacraments, which are, by definition, signs and ceremonies to confirm God's promise to... continue

Blog 237: 4.19.20 - 4.19.25

Article by   December 2009
Calvin continues his diatribe against false sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, wrapping up his denial of the sacrament of final unction.  In paragraphs 19-21, he levels two criticisms: the proof text (James 5:14) does not pertain to the church... continue

Blog 236: 4.19.14 - 4.19.19

Article by   December 2009
Calvin continues his critique of Catholicism by applying a biblical definition of "sacrament" to the Roman rite of penance.  He begins with a clear and careful distinction between public repentance, as it was practiced in the early church, and the... continue

Blog 235: 4.19.7- 4.19.13

Article by   December 2009
Confirmation, a sacrament in Roman Catholic theology, was an offence to Calvin because it sapped the meaning of baptism. In scholastic terms, baptism only washed away original sin and those sins committed before baptism. Confirmation was viewed as a sacrament... continue

Blog 234: 4.19.1 - 4.19.6

Article by   December 2009
More on sacraments - additional ones invented by men. Using the formula that sacraments are "visible signs of an invisible grace" Calvin notes that there is no limit to the inventions that can pass this test. Reverting again to the... continue
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