the friend online
03 April 2009


John Calvin rediscovered - preview

John Calvin Rediscovered: the impact of his social and economic thought, edited by Edward Dommen and James D Bratt. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-23227-6. £16.99.

Many Christian writers seem to base their understanding of humanity on the belief that Adam was a real person
  • John Calvin, the sixteenth century sage of Geneva, did so too
  • But he did not link Adam’s ‘original sin’ to sexual desire
  • Sex is part of our nature implanted in us by God, so it cannot, at least in the married state, be dishonourable
  • Similarly, Calvin was not a killjoy
  • God has provided us with necessities, but also with delight
  • However, his faith was rigid
  • Justification by faith (not paying the church to win salvation) means that your faith is bound to lead to your engaging in good works – not quite how Luther saw it
  • If you respond to the Gospel, you are probably among the elect whom God has (already) ordained for salvation
  • If not, you will probably cease to be – Calvin was not concerned to preach eternal torment

  • Richard Seebohm

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