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Calvin Quote, “In the cross of Christ…

April 6, 2013

“In the cross of Christ, as in a splendid theater, the incomparable goodness of God is set before the whole world. The glory of God shines in all creatures on high and below, but never more bright than in the cross, in which there was a wonderful change of things – the condemnation of all men was manifested, sin blotted out, salvation restored to men; in short, the whole world was renewed and all things restored to order.” (Inst. John Calvin)

Of course this only happens fully in the ‘New Creation’, “in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones.” (Matt. 19:28, literally “palingenesia, Gk.”, “renewal” or “regeneration”). (2 Peter 3: 10-13 / Rev. 21-22). Of course too this “regeneration” will be both personal, individual and in the New Creation itself! Now believers are regenerated “by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ.” (Titus 3: 5) “Calling & Regeneration, by God”, for the elect personally.

  1. Michael Frost permalink

    Finished Bruce’s Calvin bio. Am ow reading Greschat’s Bucer bio; about halfway done. Both authors do a great job ensuring they don’t overstate facts or engage in speculation. No psychoanalyzing. And no applying 21st century thoughts on the morality of events (e.g., Servetus’ execution). Calvin is an interesting thinker but a bit boring as a historical subject. First 25-30 years of his life are pretty obscure. Same for Bucer, but Martin then travels a heck of a lot and pretty much tries to work with everyone and anyone.

    Bruce doesn’t go too deep into Calvin’s theology, so it is really more a very good general bio. I was glad to see the discussions about his wife and deceased child, as well as all of the health problems. One feels for the suffering Jean as he tries to pass kidney stones! Think both he and Luther suffered from severe constipation. Definitely glad I read it. 😉

    • I am glad you read Bruce’s Calvin bio! “Calvin is an interesting thinker but a bit boring as a historical subject”? Well, his thinking and theology is what have made the historical man, and not thank God the modern psychological bio!

      • Michael Frost permalink

        “boring”… More in not a lot of action or physical interaction. He lives in France until 1534 and we know very little about this entire time. Then off to Geneva for a few years, then to Strasbourg for a few years, and a final return to Geneva for a coupld of decades. Gets out of Swiss area for ecumenical discussions around 1540. Most of his action is in letters. Definitely a brillant thinker and a most fascinating theologian.

        I was fascinated enough that I bought a copy of his Commentary on Romans. Will compare it to Melanchthon’s. The former more for professors and pastors. The latter more for students and laity.

      • Yes, I have the Banner Set (7 vol.) of his (Calvin’s) Tracts and Letters! 😉 Btw, I know few “students and laity” (even Lutherans) that take the time to read Melanchthon… Sad really!

      • Michael Frost permalink

        I suspect Master Philip is actually more appreciated in Reformed and Roman Catholic circles. Sadly, I know few Lutheran and Methodist students and laity who take the time to study either Luther or Wesley. I’m not sure that many Reformed seriously study Zwingli, Oecolampadius, Bucer, Calvin, Bullinger, Knox, or Beza. Does any modern RC really study Augustine or Aquinas? The fate of most is to be read about, through the lens of another commentator or dissection of some small part of their thought rather than read the actual man.

        My Calvin Commentary on Romans is from the “Calvin’s NT Commentaries” edited by Torrance and Torrance. Part of a 12 volume series on the entire NT. Romans, along with 1st & 2nd Thessalonians, is Vol. 8. Translated by MacKenzie, 1960. Sadly I can’t tell if this is the original 1540, 1551, or 1556 edition. (I’m assuming it is the 1540, because it has the 1539 dedication; 1540 is the year of Melanchthon’s 2nd edition of same that is available in English.)

      • Well this depends on what group we are speaking of? Graduate students, accepted one would hope, at least in some areas of history and theology? But since I am 64 this year, I have seen however the great loss of just the general Judeo-Christian reality in the so-called Free World! Btw, there are some Calvin scholars busy today… Billings and Canlis, to name a few!

        My black set, (color)..hardcover, besides the dust-jackets of Calvin’s NT Commentaries are boxed, at the moment…Too many books! 😉 But as you read Calvin’s Commentaries, you will note their somewhat brevity, at least the NT to degree. Calvin is always the pastor-teacher foremost!

      • Btw, that’s Eerdmans as I remember (Romans with Thessalonians).

      • Btw, one of my favorite books on Paul – though of course I cannot follow him everywhere – is Gunther Bornkamm’s ‘Paul’ (Paulus), English translation 1971, Harper & Row. F.F. Bruce wrote a positive piece for the book (on the back of the dust-jacket) for the English version. Bornkamm was a student/pupil of Rudolf Bultmann, and one time Professor of NT Exegesis at Heidelberg University.

      • I also like very much Richard Longenecker’s classic book: ‘Paul Apostle of Liberty’, also Harper & Row, 1964 – aye, I have a first! 😉 Perhaps one of the very best modern scholastic works on St. Paul, ever! (I don’t follow Longenecker everywhere either)

      • Michael Frost permalink

        When thinking about “action” or “boring” in biographies… I am almost done with Greschat’s bio on Bucer (translated, 2004). This sentence caught my eye and points out a physical difference between men like Calvin and Bullinger, who tended not to travel much, versus Bucer and Melanchthon, who traveled extensively:

        “All of this [the prior lengthy discussion of his travel itinerary] means that Bucer practically covered 7.500 milles during the six years–1534 to 1539–under consideration, in other words about 1,250 miles a year.” (p. 131)

        Bucer may almost have travelled more in one of these years than Jean did in his entire life!

  2. Later John Wesley also traveled a bit! But beware of that old modern psychological bio thing!

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