Results tagged “Calvin” from Blogging the Institutes

Blog 6: 1.1.1 - 1.2.1

Article by   January 2009
Calvin's Institutes opens with a strikingly important sentence--crafted first by a young man in his mid-twenties and only fine tuned between its first appearance in 1536 and its final expression a few years before his death. Wisdom--the knowledge coupled with... continue

Results tagged “Calvin” from Reformation21

Calvin and Baptism: Baptismal Regeneration or the Duplex Loquendi Modus?

Article by   August 2016
"What is the relation between baptism and salvation in the thought of John Calvin?" This is a timely question, given that there has been much discussion over this very subject of late. continue

Calvin's Company of Pastors

Article by   May 2016
During the period of the Reformation the city of Geneva became one of the most important centers of theological and pastoral development in the world. At that time, under John Calvin's leadership, the pastors (over 130 from the city and countryside surrounding Geneva) were gathered together into what was called the "Company of Pastors." continue

Rightly Defining the Spirituality of the Church

Article by   February 2016
Sean Michael Lucas's fascinating book, For a Continuing Church, highlights in no uncertain terms the vital importance of the doctrine of the spirituality of the church to the origins of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Next to the authority of Scripture, no other commitment played a more important role in forging the identity of the evangelical Presbyterians who established the PCA. These Presbyterians insisted that the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) had exchanged its spiritual mission of evangelization, summarized in the Great Commission's call for the church to make and train disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), for the activism of the social gospel. continue

How Should We Then Defend?

Article by   January 2016
I suspect that 2015, from a Christian perspective, will go down in history as one of the darkest and gloomiest centuries of human history. The cavalier destruction of human life, in the name of religion, is on the rise worldwide. No matter how much we protest that terrorists will not change our way of life, gun sales are rising sharply, as more and more people wonder whether shopping at a mall, or going to a movie, or having a Christmas party, will be the occasion for another random act of violence. continue

Pastoral Collegiality and Accountability in Calvin's Geneva

Article by   April 2015
One important resource for pastoral health and well-being that is sometimes overlooked in contemporary discussions is the history of the pastoral office--the practices, convictions, and institutions in the Church's past that have been important in supporting and sustaining Christian ministers. The Protestant reformer John Calvin's pastoral theology and practice in Geneva from 1536-1564 can serve as an example.4 Recognizing the hardships and dangers caused by isolation in ministry, Calvin constructed a variety of church institutions in Geneva to promote pastoral collegiality, accountability, and gospel-faithfulness among the city's pastoral company. Calvin's model of ministry remains instructive for contemporary Christian leaders who seek to flourish and remain faithful in their ministry callings. continue

Joining the Resistance: Lament and the Kingdom [Part 4]

Article by   February 2015
In previous posts, I have suggested that the question of suffering before God needs to remain an open question - a question that we, along with the Psalmists, bring before God in the midst of our grief, anger, and confusion. All of this relates to prayer. But it also relates to action - action in a world in which God is king, and yet we groan and wait for his kingdom to come in fullness. continue

Justification, Faith and Works: Calvin on Ezekiel 18:17

Article by   February 2015
A passage from Calvin's commentary on Ezekiel 18:14-17 has the distinction of being among the last, perhaps the last, of his comments on the relationship among justification, faith and works. Apparently written shortly before his death in 1564, it is perhaps as pointed as any of his comments on their interrelationship and so, highly instructive concerning his matured understanding. An excerpt of some length from his comments on verse 17 is provided here, because, seen in its immediate context, it needs to be read carefully and digested (bolding added). Note that when Calvin speaks here of "works" he clearly has in view, as the plural shows, the believer's good works or obedience done over time, in other words, seen in terms of God's work in the believer, sanctification as ongoing or progressive, what he regularly includes elsewhere with "regeneration," a word he uses in a broader sense than later Reformed theology. continue

Reconsidering Calvin

Article by   March 2014
Randall C. Zachman, Reconsidering John Calvin. Current Issues in Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, viii + 212pp. $29.99/£18.99This elegant little book formed the content of the Warfield Lectures given at Princeton Theological Seminary in October 2009 in honour of... continue

Calvin and the Reformed Tradition: On the Work of Christ and the Order of Salvation

Article by   April 2013
Richard A. Muller, Calvin and the Reformed Tradition: On the Work of Christ and the Order of Salvation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012), 288pp., paperback, $39.99Richard Muller's latest book, Calvin and the Reformed Tradition, is the product of many decades... continue

Do We Have Free Will?

Article by   August 2009
Non-Christians and Christians alike often give the same answer to difficult questions like these: Why did God allow sin in the first place? Why does God save some people and not others? Why does God send people to hell? Why can living like a Christian be so frustrating? The immediate solution often suggested is simple: "free will." continue

In Praise of Men

Article by   July 2009
Today I received an e-mail from a friend known to many at First Presbyterian Church, Peter Jones. In it he recalled meeting Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in the Vatican some twenty years ago. Peter related how he had... continue

Results tagged “Calvin” from Reformation21 Blog

Wisdom Christology in James and 1 John

Article by   August 2017
In the previous post in this series, we briefly considered how Calvin's appreciation of wisdom theology is particularly present in his comments on the Johannine literature. In Calvin's commentary of 1 John, we discover one of the marks of the wisdom... continue

Protestantism, Scripture and the Judgment of the Church

Article by   March 2017
A few weeks ago, I participated in a conference which explored the promise that careful attention to Protestantism's past holds for Protestantism's future. It was exciting to see scholars, students, and interested laypersons gathered around a common concern for the... continue

John Calvin on the True Church

Article by   May 2016
When is a "church" not a church? How do we recognize the true church of Jesus Christ? And how do we discern the false? Calvin's answer, in the Institutes 4.2.1 - 4.2.12, to what was in his day--and remains--an important question,... continue

John Calvin on the Keys of the Kingdom

Article by   April 2016
Calvin's teaching has never been for shrinking violets, nor is John Calvin himself thought of as "soft."  He uses strong language about those who are enemies of the gospel ("pigs," "dogs"). In discussing church discipline he notes the special responsibilities... continue

Holy vs Unholy Laughter: Calvin on Gen. 21.1-21

Article by   April 2016
Calvin discovers in Gen. 21, with its record of Isaac's birth and Ishmael's banishment from Abraham's house, a contrast between two kinds of laughter, one "holy and lawful," the other "canine and profane." Holy laughter -- not (of course) to... continue

Christ Descended into Hell: No Hope without It

Article by   March 2016
Of the twelve affirmations that constitute the Apostles' Creed -- perhaps the most regularly recited statement of basic Christian doctrine in the western Church of the last 1500 years -- none has caused greater uncertainty and debate over the centuries... continue

Calvin on Life's Perils and God's Providence

Article by   February 2016
Calvin apparently lived with a profound awareness of the potential for death that constantly accompanies us as human beings. In 1.17.10 of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Reformer provided a rather sobering catalog of the "innumerable ... deaths... continue

Sodom's Great Sin?

Article by   December 2015
Sodom. Arguably the most notorious city in Scripture. We cannot read or hear its name without our thoughts running to certain sins (most likely sexual in kind) that famously found a home there. Given John Calvin's reputation for a certain... continue

Against Hotels: Calvin on Gen. 18.1-8

Article by   October 2015
Somewhat curiously, Calvin judged "the great number of inns" populating the landscape of his day to be rather obvious "evidence of our depravity" -- the "our" in question being, in the first instance, early modern Europeans. What prompted such disapproval... continue

Painful Lessons in Humility: Calvin on Gen. 17.1-27

Article by   September 2015
Scripture's account of God's command to Abraham to "circumcise the flesh of [his] foreskin" (Gen. 17.11; KJV) affords Calvin ample opportunity to reflect on the reality and nature of sacramental signs. Thus he is keen, in his comments on this... continue

Flight vs. Freedom: Calvin on Hagar (Gen. 16)

Article by   August 2015
"Hagar, servant of Sarai." So the angel of the Lord addressed the Egyptian slave (Gen. 16.8) who had the great misfortune to be drawn into Abraham and Sarah's scheme to assist the realization of God's promise (Gen. 16.1-6). Upon the... continue

Failures in Faith and Prayer: Calvin on Gen. 16.1-3

Article by   August 2015
Sarah's problem, in Calvin's estimation, was that she believed the promise of God. Or at least, that was part of her problem -- part, that is, of what actually drove her to let those very strange words pass the threshold... continue

Doubt vs. Incredulity: Calvin on Gen. 15.1-21

Article by   July 2015
Given the controversies surrounding justification in his day, it's no surprise that Calvin camps out on Gen. 15.6 ("[Abraham] believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness") for a significant space of time in his commentary on... continue

The Best Medicine for Fear: Calvin on Gen. 14.1-15.1

Article by   June 2015
"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, and your exceedingly great reward." So says God to Abraham in the opening verse of Genesis 15. Upon first glance, Calvin admits, God's encouragement to Abraham "to be of good courage"... continue

The Best Medicine for Sadness: Calvin on Gen. 13.5-18

Article by   June 2015
Calvin assumes that Abraham's divorce from his nephew Lot (Gen. 13.8-9) caused the eminent patriarch considerable pain. "There is no doubt," the Reformer writes, "that the wound inflicted by that separation was very severe, since he was obliged to send... continue

Slavery, Expatriation, and Prosperity: Calvin on Gen. 11.31 - 13.4

Article by   June 2015
Scripture's account of Abraham's trip from Ur to Canaan via Haran, subsequent ramble through the Promised Land, and short but eventful stay in Egypt before rewinding his course through Canaan, provides Calvin with ample opportunity to reflect upon the nature... continue

Father Abraham's Father and First True Son: Calvin on Terah (Gen. 11.31-12.9)

Article by   May 2015
Scripture's account of Terah and Abraham's departure from Ur of the Chaldeans for Canaan (via Haran) presents Calvin with a difficulty. In Genesis 11.31 it appears that Terah takes the initiative in quitting Chaldea for the greener pastures of some... continue

Gratitude for Government: Calvin contra Contempt for Civil Authority

Article by   May 2015
In Calvin's estimation, the Christian life is properly one of constant gratitude. Gratitude bears fruit in holiness -- we can and should say "thank you" to God with our lives as well as our lips. The root of gratitude is... continue

Calvin contra Thomas (and most Reformed folk) on the merit of Christ

Article by   April 2015
Shamelessly stealing Aaron's "Calvin contra . . ." title form while trying to slip into Mark's stream of interest in merit, I thought this might be a good time to indulge a little excursion in Reformed diversity by noting Calvin's... continue

Calvin contra Caterpillars

Article by   April 2015
"Many things which are now seen in the world are rather corruptions of it than any part of its proper furniture. For ever since man declined from his high original, it became necessary that the world should gradually degenerate from... continue

Calvin contra Rome on Scripture (Part 4)

Article by   April 2015
"I come to the right of interpreting [the Bible], which they arrogate to themselves.... It is theirs, they say, to give the meaning of Scripture, and we must acquiesce." Thus Calvin summarizes the fourth and final point of Trent's teaching... continue

Calvin contra Rome on Scripture (Part 3)

Article by   March 2015
"Thirdly," Calvin writes in description of Rome's teaching on Scripture, "repudiating all other versions [of Scripture] whatsoever, they retain the Vulgate only, and order it to be authentic." Thus Calvin summarizes the following words from the Council of Trent: [This]... continue

Calvin contra Rome on Scripture (Part 2)

Article by   March 2015
Follow the links to read the introduction and part one of this series. "In forming a catalogue of Scripture," Calvin writes, "they [the Roman Catholic Council of Trent] mark all the books with the same chalk, and insist on placing... continue

Calvin contra Rome on Scripture (Part 1)

Article by   March 2015
For an explanation of what follows, see the previously posted introduction to this series.Calvin discerned four basic claims in Rome's teaching on Scripture as discovered in the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent. The first claim was comprised in... continue

Calvin contra Rome on Scripture (Introduction)

Article by   March 2015
I intend to offer, over the next several weeks, a four part series on Calvin's response to Rome's doctrine of Scripture as discovered in the fourth session of the Council of Trent. It's my impression that very few Protestants today... continue

Enduring Ignorance for Us and Our Salvation

Article by   February 2015
Without a hint of shame or embarrassment or any sort of profound internal conflict, Jesus openly admits he is--or at least was, while living under the conditions of the fall and fulfilling all righteousness for us--ignorant of at least one... continue

Two Ways to Build a Tower: Calvin on Gen. 11.1-8

Article by   January 2015
The details of the story are fairly well known: Noah's descendants, still within Noah's lifetime (by Calvin's reckoning), pooled their various talents and employed their common tongue towards the end of building a really big tower. God, unimpressed by their... continue

Back to Business as Usual: Calvin on Gen. 9

Article by   January 2015
The flood waters having receded, and Noah and family having disembarked from the ark, it was back to business as usual on earth in a number of discernable ways. Thus we see, firstly, the restitution of the creation ordinance of... continue

Putrid vs. Perfumed Worship: Calvin on Gen. 8.20-21

Article by   December 2014
Noah's first deed upon exiting the ark -- at least as recorded in Scripture -- was to build an altar and offer unto God sacrifices from the "clean" animals and birds which had accompanied him and his family on his... continue

Noah's Miraculous Floating Zoo: Calvin on Gen. 7.1-24

Article by   December 2014
In Calvin's judgment, the biblical story of Noah's ark constitutes "history" in the proper sense of the term (i.e., it happened more or less as described). Calvin is quite concerned, however, to emphasize to his readers that God played an... continue

Dare to be a Noah: Calvin on Gen. 6.5-22

Article by   November 2014
"In a few words, but with great sublimity, Moses here commends the faith of Noah." Thus comments Calvin on Scripture's record that "Noah... did all that God commanded him" (Gen. 6.22). The terseness with which Scripture registers Noah's obedience is... continue

How to Choose a Spouse: Calvin on Gen. 6.1-3

Article by   October 2014
"The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose" (NASB). It is not entirely obvious who the parties ("sons of God" and "daughters of men") to the historical... continue

The gospel according to Enoch: Calvin on Gen. 5.21-24

Article by   October 2014
Calvin's comments on chapter 5 of Genesis barely fill a handful of pages in his lengthy commentary on the first book of the Bible. He evidently struggles to find significance in a passage of Scripture largely devoted to genealogy, and... continue

Art for Pleasure's Sake: Calvin on Gen. 4.21

Article by   October 2014
It's well known that Calvin frowned upon religious images in churches and the use of musical instruments to accompany singing in the corporate worship of God. Religious artwork in churches served, he believed, to distract worshipers from those "pictures" of... continue

The Joys (and Sorrows) of Parenting: Calvin on Gen. 4.1-26

Article by   September 2014
By virtue of his sin Adam "was banished from that royal palace of which he had been the lord." Yet God did not leave Adam homeless; "he obtained elsewhere" -- somewhere east of Eden -- "a place in which he... continue

Adamic Evasions, Divine Provision: Calvin on Gen. 3.8-21

Article by   September 2014
Calvin takes as given the historicity of Adam and Eve and the events surrounding their creation and fall. He rebukes, on this score, the 3rd century theologian Origen and "others like him" who -- finding little of value in Adam... continue

Regarding jealousy of pigs and dogs: Calvin on Genesis 3.1-19

Article by   September 2014
Calvin thinks none too highly of persons who covet the lives of pigs and dogs. It seems to have been a considerable problem in his day; he refers in his comments on Genesis 3 to the "well-known complaints" of persons... continue

"Man revolted from his maker": Calvin on Gen. 3.1-7

Article by   August 2014
The curious decision of Adam and Eve, having been the recipients of such goodness from God, to defect from their Maker, thus spoiling the "native excellence" of both themselves and "the whole world which had been created for them," raises... continue

"Men were created to employ themselves": Calvin on Gen. 2.15

Article by   August 2014
We tend towards one of two extremes in our attitudes towards work: either we make too little of it, or we make too much of it. We make too little of work when we regard it with contempt, when we... continue

'Man was rich before he was born': Calvin on Genesis 1.1-2.3

Article by   August 2014
Calvin's commentary on the creation narrative of Genesis 1.1-2.3 is dominated by one particular metaphor--that of God as the builder and decorator of a luxurious house.  The creation days, in Calvin's perspective, mark successive stages in God's construction project. In... continue

Coming Soon: Reflections on Calvin's Genesis Commentary

Article by   August 2014
Many thanks to the fine folk at Ref21 for inviting me to contribute to the website.I'm intending to launch, in a day or two, a series of posts reflecting upon bits and pieces of Calvin's Genesis commentary. Several weeks ago... continue

New Book on Calvin's Polish Connections

Article by   November 2012
Our friend and fellow contributor, Dr. Dariusz Brycko alerted us to this very important work on Calvin. Dr. Brycko writes:"I have the privilege of volunteering as international secretary at the University of Warsaw's Committee on the Reformation in Poland and... continue

Hunting with a Lion

Article by   October 2010
Now that B. B. Warfield's theology is back on the scene with Fred Zaspel's The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary (Crossway), I thought I'd point out a few comments by the Lion of Princeton in his Collected Works on... continue

Calvin For Today

Article by   April 2010
Calvin For Today, is a new volume including essays by Ligon Duncan, Derek Thomas, and others. It is a compilation of the addresses given at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary's annual conference in August 2009. The book contains a wealth of... continue

Goodbye Calvin, Hello . . . the Dutch?

Article by   January 2010
So now what do we do without a Calvin birthday conference?  I did think of one anniversary we could celebrate.  This is, after all the 400th birthday of the Remonstrance.  Think about it.  Without those five points of the Remonstrance, we... continue

For the New Calvinist in You

Article by   March 2009
My artist friend, Ned Bustard, at Square Halo Books and World's End Images has come up with a great way to celebrate the New Calvinist milestone of recognition in Time.  He's set up four designs that can don t-shirts, mugs,... continue

The Legacy of John Calvin

Article by   June 2008
      The second volume in the Calvin 500 Series has appeared, a series of volumes written or edited by David Hall celebrating the 500th anniversary (in 2009) of the birth of John Calvin. I've just finished reading The Legacy... continue
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