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Can you sum this up in a couple of sentences?

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Willie T, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Not me

    Not me Well-Known Member

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    The truth, wisdom, light and life.

    Be blessed, as you bless those that read your words.

    In Him, Not me
     
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  2. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I just about blew my mind trying to read it with understanding. I managed the first 3-4 lines with difficulty and then skipped to the end. What was it he was saying? No, don't try to answer that!
     
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  3. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    If Scripture is so clear and self attesting as Calvin claims, then he contradicts himself by writing the Institutes in the first place.
     
  4. Willie T

    Willie T Heaven Sent Staff Member

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    Huh? What's one got to do with the other?
     
  5. Yehren

    Yehren Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think he was mistaken in much of that, (but then he believed the Bible says that the Sun orbits the Earth) even if he dearly loved God and believed he was serving Him in the best possible way.
     
  6. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    I have not yet tackled the Institutes. However, if you want to start simple with Calvin, I'd recommend this:
    A Little Book on the Christian Life, damask cover

    It's been modernized, but gives you Calvin in full dose.

    This passage likely refers to the perspicuity of Scripture which is an oft-forgotten doctrine of the church. I am not as up on the history of the doctrine in terms of dates and usage, but the concept is not at all that Scripture is easy to understand. (A number of folks make that mistake.)

    Rather, the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture is that the interlocked whole of Scripture is self-containing in terms of salvation. Think of this passage in relation to the Catholic church of Calvin's time with its various requirements on salvation which prompted the Reformation. The first sentences refer to the Catholic doctrinal position of the authority of the church where Calvin is working out sola scriptura.

    Calvin's mind was incredible in his writing. Yes, some of it is obfuscated by the slow weakening of our own English language, but Calvin's mind is that of a mental giant who reveres and is awestruck by the Word of God.

    Calvin here sounds a lot like a Paul with higher diction. He is saying that the Bible does not need the art of rhetoric as some sort of proof of it's status as the truth. He's calling to mind all of the gifted philosophers and writers of history and noting that somehow, some way the Bible is even more powerful and stirring than the strongest and wisest words of man.

    For the record, I agree in full with this passage. The Bible contains all that is necessary for salvation. This is not commentary on the Bible being easy to read or understand, but that everything is there by the power of God.
     
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  7. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    “It is finished.” These words spoken by Jesus in his final moments on the cross have perplexed scholars for hundreds of years. What was finished and how does “it” relate to the Eucharist, the Passover meal, Christ’s Passion, and our own suffering as Christians?

    Protestants are fond of saying that Catholics reject "the finished work of Christ" since Catholics reject Salvation by Faith Alone. A popular text they appeal to is John 19:30, which mentions the final words of Jesus on the Cross, "It is finished!" By this, they suggest Christ did everything necessary for our salvation, that He paid everything, all that's left is for us to believe. To deny this, they say, is to deny the Gospel. While at first this might sound convincing, it's an unfortunate and serious distortion of a beautiful text.

    The first thing I'd suggest people think about is that Jesus said "It is finished" before He actually died and before He Resurrected. If someone were to push this too far in the wrong way, it would end up saying the Resurrection and even the Death itself wasn't necessary. (Note: Calvinists technically deny the sufficiency of the Cross, they just don't realize it.) Given this, there needs to be a more careful approach to the text.

    What many don't know is that there is actually a very good explanation to this text that can be discerned simply by examining the context:

    28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

    Notice that the focus of this event was not about Jesus paying the full penalty for sin, but rather about fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy. It was when Jesus received the sour wine (vinegar) that He spoke these words, fulfilling the set up from verse 28. In fact, the Greek word for "finished" only appears twice in John, in verse 19:28 and 19:30, under the same verbal form (tetelestai), strongly suggesting the two go together. And the context shows that a few other Old Testament prophecies were also going to be fulfilled (John 19:31-37). So it should really be understood as "It is fulfilled," or more traditionally, "It is Consummated."

    The "fulfill" ("consummated") reading also makes better sense of the Greek term used (see how it's used in Luke 18:31 and Acts 13:29). In the 26 verses the word appears in, only twice is it used to refer to payment, and even in these two verse it only refers to paying taxes (Mt 17:24; Rom 13:6) and not some full payment. In virtually every other verse it's used, it means "fulfill" or "conclude". Given this, it is absolutely astonishing the way many Protestants will over-reach with this word to make it suggest a financial transaction of "payment in full" and completely ignore the Biblical evidence available.

    This is not to suggest that the "It is Consummated" doesn't have a deeper significance than just saying "this one prophecy was fulfilled," but rather (both/and, not either/or) that Christ's death is to be understood as the Old Testament said it would happen. For example, Protestants love to point to Jesus on the Cross saying "My God, why have You abandoned me," and claim this verse proves the Father's wrath was poured out on Jesus. But any alert reader would know Jesus was intoning Psalm 22, which clearly is speaking of David/Jesus being persecuted by enemies and not being rescued (immediately) by God.

    In the case of "I thirst," the cross-reference given for this is Psalm 69:21, which is a Messianic Psalm talking about how David was persecuted and insulted by his fellow Jews and now how Jesus is persecuted and insulted by the Jews. Nothing to do with taking someone's punishment or the Father's wrath being dumped on them.

    This same kind of distortion is happening when Protestants quote "It is finished."

    What did Jesus mean by "It is finished"?

    Calvin was wrong.
     
  8. Willie T

    Willie T Heaven Sent Staff Member

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    I think the most glaring and striking thing about Calvin's negativism in The Institutes, is his vividly open and totally utter disgust for anyone who is not one of the Chosen Ones like him... the "reprobates", as he impudently and insolently refers to us. I mentioned earlier somewhere here, that he used some form of the word "absurd" 286 times in that work, alone, to describe any and all thoughts or ideas others expressed. And at least 500 times he interjected descriptors far worse.
     
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  9. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    This is almost a red herring as far as this discussion goes, so I really hate to take away from the OP by getting into rounds with a Catholic. On top of that, this sort of copy & paste catechism is partly why Protests and Catholics can't talk to one another on a forum. Maybe open a another thread if you'd like to go down this rabbit trail.

    Seizing on "It is finished." is not quite relevant to what Calvin was saying in the OP's quote. Rather, it would be more about the church's view of authority.

    Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    95 "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."

    Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church - The Transmission of Divine Revelation

    That would be your Catholic bone of contention with Calvin in this particular thread, and, of course, as Protestants, we summarily reject the above statement from your catechism. Calvin's point is that the Bible doesn't need another buttress or two.
     
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  10. GerhardEbersoehn

    GerhardEbersoehn Well-Known Member

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    What tells you, Willie T, Calvin wrote about you--<us>?

    And what in his Institutes makes you allege Calvin claimed <<anyone who is not one of the Chosen Ones like him>>? -- with stress in fact on <like him> not your hypocritical bold on the <Chosen Ones>.

    And you blame Calvin for his <negativism>?
     
  11. Willie T

    Willie T Heaven Sent Staff Member

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    I acquired and read, and reread two more times... and am in the process of reading The Institutes now for the fourth time, solely because I thought there has to be some great teaching somewhere in there for so many people to idolize this magnificent man. It has been the very reading of his own words that shocked me so to learn just the opposite of him.
    Have you read The Institutes? That man has nothing good to say about anyone except the other "Elect" (the Chosen Ones). He actually calls others "brutes" who were created only to defy God and to die for it.
     
  12. Yehren

    Yehren Well-Known Member

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    He didn't take disagreement well, Johnny didn't. But he wasn't a monster. When he turned in Servetus to be executed for heresy (basically disagreeing with Calvin) he asked that the man be beheaded rather than suffer a hideous death by being burned alive. And there is some evidence that he later repented for his actions.
     
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  13. Willie T

    Willie T Heaven Sent Staff Member

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    Gee, I didn't realize he was so compassionate. LOL
     
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  14. GerhardEbersoehn

    GerhardEbersoehn Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered the possibility that you started reading the Institutes with prejudice and bias? with the opinion your view of Bible teaching is correct and therefore Calvin's must be wrong? Would your 'shock' not have had the opposite effect if your attitude were the opposite and had you read Calvin with a teachable spirit and even with a contrite heart that needs change of attitude and opinion and self-assurance?

    What good do you expect must be said of the reprobate? Or do you believe God does not have his reprobates but that all ungodly are the children of God? Or that God has no right to reject mortals who are mortals by nature and merit of character?

    But who am I to resist Willie T -- I who don't even call <others "brutes">, but sub-brutal sub-satans? Because that's how far I myself have sunk in sin. And GOD CHOSE ME!
     
  15. Willie T

    Willie T Heaven Sent Staff Member

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    Kind of Calvin's view...…. As one of the two men praying said. "Thank God I am not that guy over there." (Me, I don't read John 3:16 that way.)
     
  16. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    My point is the Bible doesn't need Institutes on the same grounds. It's OK for Calvin but not for Catholics. That's a double standard. Post #47 exposes Calvin as a trinitarian heretic using scripture alone. My purpose was to discredit Calvin's authority, which is closer to the OP than you bringing up CCC95.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  17. GerhardEbersoehn

    GerhardEbersoehn Well-Known Member

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    Yes, according to the premise of Scripture alone, the Bible doesn't need a buttress. But according to your idea of what the Institutes is or is supposed to be, it is something the Bible must have to stand on. Which precisely is what Roman Catholics make of 'Tradition' for the Church and of the Church for Tradition. Truth - the Bible - does not rely on the Church or Tradition and the Church has to rely on the Bible--only, or its buttress will be Tradition which has as only buttress, ungodly man.

    Thus your whole concept of the Institutes that it adds to God's Words is your own misconception of it. Calvin wrote the Institutes to expose and refute Roman Catholics' many heretical substitutes for and additions to the bare necessity of Scripture only.

    WHICH IS NOT TO SAY CALVIN CANNOT and does not ERR AS WELL.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  18. Yehren

    Yehren Well-Known Member

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    It's somewhat puzzling as to how the Bible, which was compiled by men relying on scholarship, prayer and tradition, might be more reliable than the Church, which was founded by Jesus, with the promise that the forces of Hell would be powerless against it. In both cases, men depended on their inspiration from God.
     
  19. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    You pervert the true meaning of "Tradition" as a tradition of your own making. It's standard anti-Catholic methodology and it's dishonest. Until you agree to the Biblical understanding of good Tradition, (which you are incapable of doing) discussion is pointless. Nowhere does the Bible attack the Church the way you do. That's another one of your man made traditions.
     
  20. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    That's true, however "the Bible, which was compiled by men relying on scholarship, prayer and tradition", IS THE CHURCH! There harmony with all three, one is not "over" the other. Conflicts arise when different meanings for the same words are used, different definitions. Without an agreement on what certain words mean, (infallibility, authority, Magisterium, Tradition, the biblical relationship between Scripture and Tradition), discussion just goes in circles. We are not speaking the same language.

    The authority of Scripture has always been a Tradition of the Church, which is more puzzling when a different language is used.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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