HAs Calvinism Changed?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by donnA, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. donnA

    donnA
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    I recently did some research on Calvinism for a class at church, and found on line the commentary by John Calvin, and reading what he wrote on some of the difficult verses that seem to be to support Arminianism(not sure about spelling), and going by what he wrote I'm not sure he would throughly agree with modern calvinism. Now I know that the tulip was written quite a while after his death by his followers(in response to Jacob Arminist, did I spell that right?), so is it still exactly the same now as it was then, and is it exactly as he taught it? Like I said some of his comments didn't sound too calvinist.
     
  2. Monergist

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    Hi Katie,

    Could you give us a reference to some of the passages in question?

    I'm no expert on this, but I do recognize some differences in opinion with my fellow calvinists; so there is some potential for what you're calling change. More likely, however, is that what Calvin believed is being compared to a misrepresentation of what Calvinists actually believe.

    Good question. Its going to be interesting to see what responses you get.

    [ October 20, 2002, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: TimothyW ]
     
  3. Rev. G

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    There is actually a book that has been written that makes this argument - CALVIN AND ENGLISH CALVINISM, by R. T. Kendall. There is also another book on the subject by Paul Helm, CALVIN AND THE CALVINISTS, but it comes from the other side of the fence on the issue. There are many today who argue that Calvin was not a "Calvinist." I think it is mainly because they misunderstand the nature of Reformed Theology and then make assertions based on their own understanding.

    Rev. G
     
  4. ChristianCynic

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    Maybe calvinism was re-predestined to become different from its earlier predestined purpose.
     
  5. donnA

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    I hope I didn't open a can of worms, if so I'm sorry.
    I didn't save the site I was reading, an error on my part I guess. Bit it was only the bible commentaries written by John Calvin, and not a whats right or wrong with calvinism site. I made the observations myself about there being some difference in what he wrote and what calvinisms tulip says. Has anyone read his commentary? Until I found that site I was unaware there was such a thing.
     
  6. ScottEmerson

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    According to Calvin's Institutes and several of his commentaries, Calvin believed in unlimited atonement, although he did not believe all men were saved. He was a double predestinarian, whereas the majority of Calvinists (I would estimate) are not.

    My guess is that Calvin would be "close enough." He most certainly wasn't Arminian!
     
  7. Rev. G

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    Not in the "Arminian" sense... See CALVIN AND THE CALVINISTS.
     
  8. ScottEmerson

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    Not in the "Arminian" sense... See CALVIN AND THE CALVINISTS.</font>[/QUOTE]If you search for it, I presented about seven or eight direct quotes that showed that Calvin believed in unlimited atonement. You can look there.
     
  9. Rev. G

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    Any idea where I might find those quotes?
     
  10. russell55

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    Calvin actually didn't write much about the atonement, especially about the extent of the atonement. For every quote that sounds like unlimited atonement, you can find another that could only be written by someone who believed the atonement was limited. Some people think that Calvin believed one way at first and then changed his mind, but the dates of the quotes don't really bear that out.

    It's my hunch that Calvin used the words "world" and "all" in the same nondistinction sort of way calvinists claim they are used in scripture. He says in several places in his commentaries that the sins of the whole world has been expiated, which sound like unlimited atonement, but then, in his commentary on 1 John 2:2 (I'm too tired to look this us, so will paraphrase) he says that John means to include only the whole church--believers and all who will believe--but not the reprobate, and that is only the way in which it can be said that the sins of the whole world have been expiated.

    [ October 21, 2002, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  11. KenH

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    This is getting so old, Scott. You should know that is a false statement.

    Anyone interested in the truth can look up a previous thread. To save time, here's the link to a thorough article on the subject - www.the-highway.com/articleJuly02.html .

    [ October 21, 2002, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  12. KenH

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    Excellent point. [​IMG]

    I think another problem is that opponents of definite atonement expect Calvin to have used certain words in his writings such as "particular redemption", "definite atonement", or "limited atonement" as we would today. But, as I understand it, the specific term "limited atonement" was not formally attached to Calvinism until sometime after the Synod of Dordt in the early 1600s, long after John Calvin died and went to be with Christ Jesus. Therefore, we should not expect to find modern terminology in his writings.
     

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