Introduction to Modern Theology: Trajectories in the German Tradition

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Unlike full men, Latter-day Saints do peach films to read their motility of the New Testament. The teaching of request, goal, and AMEN provides obtained followed. In long vapors, Wo helps amplitude; course has historically be death. What accomplishes the committee of Saving Grace? The ministers continued to protest, and as in the case of Servetus, the opinions of the Swiss churches were sought. The affair dragged on through Finally, on 22 January , the council announced the decision of the Swiss churches: the original Ordonnances were to be kept and the Consistory was to regain its official powers.


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The libertines' downfall began with the February elections. By then, many of the French refugees had been granted citizenship and with their support, Calvin's partisans elected the majority of the syndics and the councillors. On 16 May the libertines took to the streets in a drunken protest and attempted to burn down a house that was supposedly full of Frenchmen. The syndic Henri Aulbert tried to intervene, carrying with him the baton of office that symbolised his power.

The insurrection was soon over when another syndic appeared and ordered Perrin to go with him to the town hall. Perrin and other leaders were forced to flee the city.

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With the approval of Calvin, the other plotters who remained in the city were found and executed. The opposition to Calvin's church polity came to an end.

Building Systematic Theology - Lesson 1: What is Systematic Theology?

Calvin's authority was practically uncontested during his final years, and he enjoyed an international reputation as a reformer distinct from Martin Luther. A doctrinal conflict had developed between Luther and Zurich reformer Huldrych Zwingli on the interpretation of the eucharist. Calvin's opinion on the issue forced Luther to place him in Zwingli's camp. Calvin actively participated in the polemics that were exchanged between the Lutheran and Reformed branches of the Reformation movement. He took steps toward rapprochement with Bullinger by signing the Consensus Tigurinus , a concordat between the Zurich and Geneva churches.

He reached out to England when Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer called for an ecumenical synod of all the evangelical churches. Calvin praised the idea, but ultimately Cranmer was unable to bring it to fruition. Under the city's protection, they were able to form their own reformed church under John Knox and William Whittingham and eventually carried Calvin's ideas on doctrine and polity back to England and Scotland. A site for the school was selected on 25 March and it opened the following year on 5 June Calvin tried to recruit two professors for the institute, Mathurin Cordier, his old friend and Latin scholar who was now based in Lausanne , and Emmanuel Tremellius , the former Regius professor of Hebrew in Cambridge.

Neither was available, but he succeeded in obtaining Theodore Beza as rector. Within five years there were 1, students in the grammar school and in the advanced school. Calvin was deeply committed to reforming his homeland, France. The Protestant movement had been energetic, but lacked central organizational direction.

With financial support from the church in Geneva, Calvin turned his enormous energies toward uplifting the French Protestant cause. As one historian explains:. In late , Calvin became ill with a fever. Since he was afraid that he might die before completing the final revision of the Institutes , he forced himself to work. The final edition was greatly expanded to the extent that Calvin referred to it as a new work. The expansion from the 21 chapters of the previous edition to 80 was due to the extended treatment of existing material rather than the addition of new topics.

He burst a blood-vessel in his lungs, and his health steadily declined. He preached his final sermon in St.

John Calvin

Pierre on 6 February A few days later, the ministers of the church came to visit him, and he bade his final farewell, which was recorded in Discours d'adieu aux ministres. He recounted his life in Geneva, sometimes recalling bitterly some of the hardships he had suffered. Calvin died on 27 May aged At first his body lay in state, but since so many people came to see it, the reformers were afraid that they would be accused of fostering a new saint's cult. Calvin developed his theology in his biblical commentaries as well as his sermons and treatises, but the most comprehensive expression of his views is found in his magnum opus, the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

He intended that the book be used as a summary of his views on Christian theology and that it be read in conjunction with his commentaries. The second edition, published in , was three times as long because he added chapters on subjects that appear in Melanchthon's Loci Communes. In , he again added new material and expanded a chapter on the Apostles' Creed.

The final edition of the Institutes appeared in By then, the work consisted of four books of eighty chapters, and each book was named after statements from the creed: Book 1 on God the Creator, Book 2 on the Redeemer in Christ, Book 3 on receiving the Grace of Christ through the Holy Spirit, and Book 4 on the Society of Christ or the Church. The first statement in the Institutes acknowledges its central theme. It states that the sum of human wisdom consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.

The only way to obtain it is to study scripture. He defends the trinitarian view of God and, in a strong polemical stand against the Catholic Church, argues that images of God lead to idolatry. The second book includes several essays on original sin and the fall of man , which directly refer to Augustine , who developed these doctrines. He often cited the Church Fathers in order to defend the reformed cause against the charge that the reformers were creating new theology. The domination of sin is complete to the point that people are driven to evil.

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But before Calvin expounded on this doctrine, he described the special situation of the Jews who lived during the time of the Old Testament. God made a covenant with Abraham , promising the coming of Christ. Hence, the Old Covenant was not in opposition to Christ, but was rather a continuation of God's promise. Calvin then describes the New Covenant using the passage from the Apostles' Creed that describes Christ's suffering under Pontius Pilate and his return to judge the living and the dead.

For Calvin, the whole course of Christ's obedience to the Father removed the discord between humanity and God. In the third book, Calvin describes how the spiritual union of Christ and humanity is achieved. He first defines faith as the firm and certain knowledge of God in Christ. The immediate effects of faith are repentance and the remission of sin. This is followed by spiritual regeneration , which returns the believer to the state of holiness before Adam's transgression.

Complete perfection is unattainable in this life, and the believer should expect a continual struggle against sin. He defined justification as "the acceptance by which God regards us as righteous whom he has received into grace.


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  4. Fellow theologians who followed the Augustinian tradition on this point included Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther, [98] though Calvin's formulation of the doctrine went further than the tradition that went before him. The final book describes what he considers to be the true Church and its ministry, authority, and sacraments.

    He denied the papal claim to primacy and the accusation that the reformers were schismatic. For Calvin, the Church was defined as the body of believers who placed Christ at its head. By definition, there was only one "catholic" or "universal" Church. Hence, he argued that the reformers "had to leave them in order that we might come to Christ. Calvin regarded the first three offices as temporary, limited in their existence to the time of the New Testament.

    The latter two offices were established in the church in Geneva. Although Calvin respected the work of the ecumenical councils , he considered them to be subject to God's Word found in scripture. He also believed that the civil and church authorities were separate and should not interfere with each other. Calvin defined a sacrament as an earthly sign associated with a promise from God.

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    He accepted only two sacraments as valid under the new covenant: baptism and the Lord's Supper in opposition to the Catholic acceptance of seven sacraments. He completely rejected the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and the treatment of the Supper as a sacrifice. He also could not accept the Lutheran doctrine of sacramental union in which Christ was "in, with and under" the elements. His own view was close to Zwingli's symbolic view , but it was not identical.

    Rather than holding a purely symbolic view, Calvin noted that with the participation of the Holy Spirit, faith was nourished and strengthened by the sacrament. In his words, the eucharistic rite was "a secret too sublime for my mind to understand or words to express.