Blogs by Derek Thomas

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

Blog 233: 4.18.14 - 4.18.20

Article by   December 2009
Calvin had studied Plato - no friend to Christianity - and is amused how accurately he depicted (in the Republic) the antics of medieval priests in celebrating the Mass - preying on the innocent and uneducated by fooling them into... continue

Blog 232: 4.18.8 - 4.18.13

Article by   December 2009
Private Communion (or Masses): Calvin is against them. True, he is against the Mass "period"; but mutatis mutandis he is against private celebrations of the Lord's Supper for the same reason: the Supper is meant to define the communion of... continue

Blog 231: 4.18.2 - 4.18.7

Article by   December 2009
The Mass. At the heart of Calvin's theological method in assessing the value of the Mass is the cross. The Mass signifies an on-going ritual of sacrifice, undermining the "once-for-all" of Calvary. By its constant repetition, it declares all prior... continue

Blog 230: 4.17.46 - 4.18.1

Article by   December 2009
Scottish Highland Presbyterians need to hold their breath for a second while Calvin refers to an annual Lord's Supper ritual as "a veritable invention of the devil" [4.17.46]. Calvin then adds, something which he has been cited for ever since,... continue

Blog 226: 4.17.29 - 4.17.32

Article by   November 2009
Calvin continues his distaste for transubstantiation attacking the notion that Christ's ascended body is ubiquitous (can be present everywhere in space and particularly in the consecrated sacrament) and invisible ("by a special mode of dispensation"). a) There is no Scriptural support... continue

Blog 225: 4.17.25 - 4.17.28

Article by   November 2009
Calvin identifies in the polemics of transubstantiation a fatal hermeneutical flaw: interpret the text to fit the theory rather than allow the theory to be governed (in this case, abandoned) by the text. Add to this a suspicion about Scripture's... continue

Blog 224: 4.17.21 - 4.17.24

Article by   November 2009
What does "ís" mean in "This is my body"? Metonymy, Calvin answers in the same way that Scripture represents one thing by another in such expressions as, "circumcision is a covenant" (gen. 17:13), the "lamb is the Passover" (Exod. 12:11)... continue

Blog 223: 4.17.16 - 4.17.20

Article by   November 2009
Transubstantiation and consubstantiation equally infer the ubiquity of Christ's physical body, a matter which Calvin now begins to address. The notion that Christ's physical body (in Bethlehem's manger, on the cross, resurrected in walking along the Galilean shore) is in... continue
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