Blog 231: 4.18.2 - 4.18.7
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 "sacrifices" - including Calvary - insufficient to forgive sins. It denigrates Christ and makes his life and work of less value. By participating in the re-sacrifice ritual, we abandon "free grace" and declare that we are forgiven by something which we do. Again, there rises from the heart of man the reflex of self-justification.
Calvin reformed theological method is clearly observable in this piece of polemical theology. Its language and style may appear blunt - course even - by today's sanitary evaluation of theological exchange; but Calvin's is exercised (emotionally) because in the Mass he see a dishonoring of Jesus. And when that is viewed, he cannot be silent. Nor should we.