Blogging The Institutes
Stephen Nichols
Objections still remain to Calvin's view of free will. Such as this one, raised in 2.5.13: What about the biblical passages that leave us to our own devices, such as Hosea 15:5, "I shall go to my own place, until they lay it upon their hearts to seek my face"? Calvin points out that how we...
More arguments against Calvin's view of free will emerge. One from Ecclesiasticus which Calvin, knowing it to be of dubious authority as an apocryphal document, nevertheless patiently answers viewing these texts as "supportive" of his point of view even if they are apocryphal. Next, Luke 10:30,...
More Christ-centered hermeneutics from Calvin: in short, that what is seen in the New is promised in the Old; that by covenant (mentioned five times in section 2.6.3 alone) God administers salvation by one means - "the hope of all the godly has ever reposed in Christ alone" (2.6.3); that "apart...
More covenant theology from Calvin: the covenant with David is a line of continuity with Moses, and the entirety as a preparation for the coming of Christ. Calvin walks between the (Lutheran) Scylla that the sole purpose of the law is pedagogic (what Calvin calls the narrow sense, "Christ is the...
The pedagogic (and first) use of law is to "shut our mouths" (Rom. 3:19), not so as to lead us to utter despair (as is the case with the reprobate) but to lead us to Christ: "But in Christ his face shines, full of grace and gentleness, even upon us poor and unworthy sinners" (2.7.8). This is true...
Blog 60 2.714 - 2.8.1 Obligation to the keep the law as believers seems to many to legalistic and contrary to the gospel. Antinomianism has ever been an issue and Calvin asks, "To what extent has the law been abrogated for believers?" Taking Matthew 5:17 and Jesus' words to the effect that he did...
Sinclair Ferguson
John Calvin is full of surprises. As he comes to expound the Decalogue (the third longest chapter in the work, after his expositions of Prayer and the Lord's Supper), how will the master biblical theologian introduce the God of the Law? As Creator who has the place of Father and Lord in our lives--...
Sinclair Ferguson
There is more to obedience to God's commandments than meets the eye! Calvin's reason? The law is full of synecdoche. Synecdoche?--that un-spellable figure of speech from High School English in which the whole of something is used to refer to a part, or a part is used to designate the whole. In...
Sinclair Ferguson
How misunderstood the Law of Moses has been! It begins with and is grounded in--grace. Always! For the Exodus from Egypt was but the foreshadowing of the greater Exodus of gospel deliverance in Christ. This is why, says Calvin, "There is no one, I say, who ought not to be captivated to embrace the...
Sinclair Ferguson
Ungodly people always take the higher ground when arguing with God and the lower ground when living their own lives. Is God unjust to visit iniquities on successive generations? On the contrary, Calvin argues, we are all responsible human beings and are punished for our own offences. Note how he...