Tale of Two Calvins

This is my obligatory Calvin 500th birthday post

The occasion of Calvin’s 500th Birthday has led to competing “celebrations” of Calvin’s life and work in Geneva over the last week. One led by WARC, WCC, and other “mainline” organizations that featured such speakers as  Clifton Kirkpatrick, former Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) (read some his thoughts on Calvin here ) and Setri Nyomi, Pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana (He is quoted as saying Calvin would have been for furthering Marxist ideals in society). The other is being backed by NAPARC and other more “conservative” Reformed and Presbyterian Groups (see their website here). So much so that they were required to “share” venues in Calvin’s adopted town. One celebrates the Calvin read through the eyes of Modern Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy (read here: Liberation Theology and Karl Barth) and the other allows the John Calvin of 16th-Century Geneva speak for himself (no bias here).  It makes one wonder if both sides are celebrating the same man or each have developed, to paraphrase Albert Schweitzer’s quip about the 19th-Century “Quest for the Historical Jesus”, a Calvin that looks, breathes, and thinks like a reincarnated version of themselves.

Blessings,

As an example here is a Calvin article on a doctrine John Calvin vigorously defended that the Neo-Orthodox and Liberationists would have to and do deal gymnastically with:

On Limited Atonement:

Dr. Roger Nicole Deftly and Carefully Turns Away the Thoughts of R.T. Kendall on Calvin’s Thoughts on the Extent of the Atonement.

For those unaware R.T. Kendall wrote one of the oft quoted books concerning the “Calvin vs. the Calvinists” discussion. In other words it is Kendall’s these that specifically the Westminster Divines (and their Confession of Faith) “bastardized” John Calvin and made him out to believe things he never believed. Dr. Nicole here takes apart Kendell’s thesis. (Also be sure to check out Paul Helm’s two books (Find them here and here) and Richard Muller’s book on the same subject here) that also show Kendall to be quite incorrect in his thoughts concerning Calvin and Westminster)

Next Fall and a Break from Blogdom for a Week

Never too early to let y’all know what my class schedule looks like for next Fall. Registered today for these classes (3 at PTS, 1 at RPTS)…

At PTS:

TH 03 Church and Sacraments
Rev. Dr. John Burgess

A study of the role of the sacraments and the church in shaping and sustaining the Christian life. Particular attention will be devoted to the responsibility of pastors to provide theological vision for the church in contemporary North American society. Issues of conflict in church life will also be explored.

TH 22 Theology of T.H. Torrance
Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves

Study of major themes in the theology of a premier Reformed theologian of the second half of the 20th century. Special attention given to Torrance’s understanding of epistemology, his critical theological realism, some contributions in the area of doctrine, and his indebtedness to Athanasius, and the Capadocian Fathers.

CH 64 Reformed Dogmatics
Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves & Rev. Dr. Charles Partee

This course will study the dogmatic task within Reformed Theology, and the approach of selective theologians.

At RPTS

OT 91 Introduction to Covenant Theology
Rev. Dr. Dennis Prutow

This course will bring the student to a greater understanding of the role of Covenant Theology in the life of the Church and the Christian man.


Also as the title says I am taking a break from active posting for a couple weeks as I bare down for the end of the term and the end of the School Year.

May providence be on your side.