Sunday, July 10, 2005

On This Day in 1509...

John Calvin...John Calvin was born in Noyon, Picardie, France. He is, of course, most famous for his massive work Institutes of the Christian Religion, one of the foundational theological works of reformed Christianity, especially Presbyterianism. One of Calvin's essential tenants is the centrality of Scripture to Christian theology. From the Institutes:
Just as old or bleary-eyed men and those with weak vision, if you thrust before them a most beautiful volume, even if they recognize it to be some sort of writing, yet can scarcely construe two words, but with the aid of spectacles will begin to read distinctly, so Scripture, gathering up the otherwise confused knowledge of God in our minds, having dispersed our dullness, clearly shows us the true God.1
For many Presbyterian seminarians, particularly those attending my seminary, Calvin's definition of faith is etched firmly in the brain. Faith is:
A firm and certain knowledge of God's benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.2
1 Institutes of the Christian Religion from the Library of Christian Classics edition (LCC 20 and LCC 21) edited by John T. McNeill and translated by Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), 1.6.1.
2 Ibid. 3.2.7.


  1. Just discovered your blog -- always great to read a word or two from Calvin!

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you again soon.