For the Calvinists: What are Key Points of Calvin's Theology beyond TULIP?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ed B, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Ed B

    Ed B
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    I am of the opinion that it is very unfair to the man John Calvin to reduce his theology to the points raised by the Remonstrants. I am curious to hear from those more well versed in the Theology and work of John Calvin what other points were fundemental to Calvin. They need not be unique or divisive. Certainly Sola Scirptura was a big one...perhaps the biggest?





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  2. Ruiz

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    Ed,

    Great question! Relegating Calvinism to five points is not supported in the Remonstrants, but they believed the five points were major issues of disagreement with Arminius' followers. So, what are the other points? You must begin with the five Solas.

    Soli Fide- By faith Alone
    Sola Gratia- By Grace Alone
    Sola Christus- Christ Alone
    Sola Scriptura- Scripture Alone
    Soli Deo Gloria- For the Glory of God alone.

    However, there is more to Calvinism than merely these 10 points. I think you must include his hermeneutical principles, some essential aspects of his ecclesiology, and view of Theology Proper.
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    Here is a good link and nice summary:
    http://www.apuritansmind.com/the-re...f-calvins-institutes-by-dr-c-matthew-mcmahon/
     
  4. Ed B

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    Thank you Ruiz and Iconoclast for the responses. I am currently reading The Institutes, albeit slowly and as time allows. I will read up on the five "solas" and spend some time on the web page that Iconoclast shared. It looks like a great summary.


    Some time back I was looking for the definitive biography on Calvin that matches the depth and quality of "Augustine of Hippo: a Biography by Peter Brown" which I read years ago and thoroughly enjoyed and was blessed by it even as I disagreed with many points of Augustine's theology. After chasing down the equivalent on Calvin through the academic leads I had available to me it appeared that there is no single biography of Calvin that is as universally recommended as Brown's work on Augustine. That is why I gave up and started reading The Institutes....no small chore for me but I will finish it.

    But back to the point, I still see it as unfortunate that “Calvinism” or Arminius for that matter is reduced to the points made by the Remonstrant and the counter points.
     
  5. DaChaser1

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    You would also want to look back to the prior discussions on IF one can hold to TULIP/DoG as regards to Sotierology, and in THAT respect only be classified as being calvinist, and yet NOT holding to all of thetheology, as regarding eschatology and Church govt matters!

    I see that one can be a cal in just Salavtion theology only, while the reformed would see it as "all of it or none!"
     
  6. Skandelon

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    I'm not sure about a 'key point' but I remember thinking his work on Prayer was amazing back when I read it in college.
     
  7. DaChaser1

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    Amazing that someone whom his critics see as being a heretic here, or at least fully determinentcould have useful book on prayer, as why bother IF as his critics say, that Calvin would have no prayer, as God will will get done anyways!

    Just something to think about, Eh?
     
  8. Skandelon

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    I might think about it if I had an any idea what you just said. :confused:
     
  9. gb93433

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    When I read Calvin's Institutes I was surprised to read that he thought that if his theology was taken too far it would lead to trouble.
     
  10. Ed B

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    I have been following the discussions here off and on to a point and abandoning them when they degrade into something else. I am aware that there is a distinction between agreeing with TULIP and being Reformed; though all who are Reformed are Calvinistic as we use the term.

    Thanks for the response.
     
  11. Ed B

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    I am still early in the book but I have read things that either pleasantly surprised me or I found to be very profound but were at most tangential to TULIP. Of course John Calvin never encountered a TULIP that couldn't be cut and placed in a vase. :)
     
  12. HankD

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    Institutes of The Christian Religion; John Calvin, Volumes 1 and 2 (1286 pages - Eerdmans, Published in 1953).

    HankD
     
  13. Aaron

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    Calvin's Institutes is an amazing work. Organizing his topics according to the order in which they're found in the Apostle's Creed, it is simply a systematic presentation of Christianity. It is simple, straightforward and well argued.

    Would to God I could be as eloquent.
     
  14. Ed B

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    I am reading the Henry Beveridge translation from 1845.

    From the preface:

    "...Calvin used two phrases to describe the Christian life: that faith is the principle work of the Holy Spirit; that prayer is the principle exercise of faith. All of life was to be lived before God as a prayer - as dialogue with a personal God. Within this life of prayer, in gratitude for the gracious gift of salvation, believers would live orderly, socially redemptive lives. "

    I have heard variations of this preached at most of the Baptist Churches I have attended.
     
  15. Ed B

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    Aaron, I agree. One thing I like about "The Institutes" as a book is that if I only have 15 minutes, I can still pick it up and read a few sections without it seeming like a waste of time. Very well organized.
     
  16. padredurand

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    I'm rather fond of Book 4 Chapter 16 a & b. Certainly, as you said, "...simple, straightforward and well argued."

     
  17. Iconoclast

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    Hello ED B,
    Just keep in mind when you read Calvin or any other church teacher, they are offering scriptures about Jesus, His Person and Work.
    The teacher should be a help to see and understand Jesus better in scripture.
    The Holy Spirit always speaks of Jesus.
    Any trusted guide should always be held against the scriptural revelation...no one man is ever given all truth.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    What is really freaking amazing is that he was in his early 20s when he wrote it. Regardless of where one stands in regard to his views on election/predestination, everyone must at least acknowledge this man's extraordinary work and influence.
     
  19. gb93433

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    Is not Calvinism a form of rationalism?
     
  20. glfredrick

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    As indeed it has. Luther was much more inclined to a supralapsarian position than Calvin, whom many believe would be classified as more of an infra (or sub) lapsarian.

    I find that Calvin's most pervasive theological doctrine was his view on the Glory of God. It drove all else that he wrote.
     

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