John Calvin on Isaiah 66:22 and the New Heavens and the New Earth

Sometimes I think the only real reading of John Calvin many do is excerpts from his Institutes. Here in Isaiah 66 we see John Calvin speaking of the “New Heavens” and the “New Earth”  being a present reality for the current Age, not a time to come.

22. For as the new heavens. Here he promises that the restoration of the Church shall be of such a nature that it shall last for ever. Many might be afraid that it would be ruined a second time; and therefore he declares that henceforth, after having been restored by God, its condition shall be permanent. Accordingly, he mentions here two benefits of surpassing excellence, restoration and eternity. When he speaks of “new heavens” and a “new earth,” he looks to the reign of Christ, by whom all things have been renewed, as the Apostle teaches in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Now the design of this newness is, that the condition of the Church may always continue to be prosperous and happy. What is old tends to decay; what is restored and renewed must be of longer continuance. (Hebrews 8:13.)

So shall your seed and your name remain. God had promised that “the sun and moon,” so long as they remained in heaven, should be witnesses of the eternal succession, that the posterity of David might not be cut off. But because some interruption arose from the treachery and ingratitude of the people, the restoration effected by Christ actually confirmed that prediction. Justly, therefore, does Isaiah say, “Your sons shall succeed to you, and your grandsons shall succeed to your sons;” and as God will establish the world, that it may never perish, so the succession of the Church shall be perpetual, that it may be prolonged through all ages.

In a word, he explains what he had formerly said about renewing the world, that none may think that this relates to trees, or beasts, or the order of the stars; for it must be referred to the inward renewal of man. The ancients were mistaken when they thought that these things related absolutely to the last judgment; and they had not sufficiently weighed the context of the Prophet or the authority of the Apostle. Yet I do not deny that they extend as far as to that judgment, because we must not hope for a perfect restoration before Christ, who is the life of the world, shall appear; but we must begin higher, even with that deliverance by which Christ regenerates his people, that they may be new creatures. (2 Corinthians 7:1.)

If You Do Not Believe the Scriptures to be Inerrant or Even Authoritative…

Then why appeal to them at all?

This has something that has always ruffled the feathers a bit. I have never understood why/how logically a person can hold that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were put together by men with an agenda and sometimes men with no real purpose (other than of course to make conservatives look foolish 20 centuries in the future) and yet still when asked why they believe x,y, or z they appeal to the Scriptures as if they have authority.

For example.

Person A is in a discussion with Person B.

Person A is a person arguing for a religious solution from a liberal perspective.

Person B is a person who holds a contrary position.

Let us say they are discussing feeding the poor.

Person A says the Civil Magistrate should redistribute wealth in order to pay for feeding homeless person A and needy person B.

Person A cites Isaiah 1:17 in defense of their position.

Person A believes “Isaiah” was written by as many as 4 different persons (or more) and certainly is post-exilic and was definitely not written by some “prophet” named “Isaiah”. Person A may even believe “Isaiah” was a partisan-piece written for Israelite zealots.

So the question is how can Person A cite Isaiah as in any sense authoritative in making their argument?