CALVIN-THE THEOLOGIAN

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Mind Map by tompoad, updated more than 1 year ago
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Calvinism Mind Map on CALVIN-THE THEOLOGIAN, created by tompoad on 04/25/2013.
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CALVIN-THE THEOLOGIAN
1 SKILLS
1.1 Appreciated/ expressed cogently insights of magisterial reformers, mixing in his own

Annotations:

  • Nearly 800 sermons printed during his lifetime
1.2 Stylist in both French and Latin

Annotations:

  • Blessed with a 'golden pen', and a superior ability to express complex theological issues in an easily understandable manner
1.3 Post-1557
1.3.1 Gave thrice-weekly lessons on the Bible
1.3.2 Commentaries on OT and NT

Annotations:

  • Published from 1540 onwards
1.3.3 RESPONSES

Annotations:

  • To doctrinal challenges, magor events, and the need to offer believers edification about specific issues prompted him to write MORE
1.3.3.1 Treatises of advise to France, Low Countries and Poland
1.3.3.2 Attacks on opponents

Annotations:

  • Opponents and targets - Council of Trent, Anabaptists, anti-Trinitarians, astrologers, Lutheran ubiquitarians, and those favouring compromise with Rome
2 Influences
2.1 Modelling of 1536 Institutes on Luther's Catechism - debt
2.1.1 Defending Luther's fundamental theology
2.2 Humanist
2.2.1 Melanchthon's 'Commonplaces'
2.2.2 Bucer in Strasbourg - influenced ecclesiology and predestination
2.3 Critical of Zwingli's symbolic interpretation of Eucharist
2.4 Bullinger and a Lasco also exhorted believers to shun papal abhominations
3 THEOLOGY
3.1 Emphasis on God's absolute control of everything on earth -mans's obligation to serve God
3.1.1 God the everlasting Governor and Preserver, "sustains and cares for everything, even to the least sparrow"
3.1.2 God the 'fount of all good' - gratitude obliges humans to servitude
3.1.3 Human sinfulness and divine omnipotence

Annotations:

  • Calvin in McGrath "God tamed his heart and reduced it to obedience". Impotence of humanity emphasised
3.2 EUCHARIST; Benedict; a middle ground between Oecolampadius' symbolic understanding and Lutheran real presence
3.2.1 Lutheran 'real' presence as crass and carnal conception of God
3.2.2 Christ's spirit came to believers

Annotations:

  • Multiple benefits - confirmed and refreshed faith, inspired them to greater thanksgiving for God and bound them together as a community in concord and affection
  • Sacrament to be celebrated weekly due to benefits
3.2.3 Keeping eucharistic community free

Annotations:

  • Pollution-free sentiment led to a concern with church discipline
  • Those outwardly professing the true faith, didn't live scandalously, and believed themselves worthy of admission to communion after personal self-examination should be admitted to the sacrament.
3.2.3.1 Substance of the Eucharist

Annotations:

  • Confirms reception of the body of Christ - God's communication
3.2.3.1.1 Virtue

Annotations:

  • 'Beneficia Christi' - benefits won for the believer by Christ through his obedience
  • REDEMPTION, RIGHTEOUSNESS, ETERNAL LIFE
3.2.3.2 Value the Creation
3.2.3.2.1 Material elements

Annotations:

  • Signify the grace, generosity and goodness of God
  • New motivation for ENJOYING nature
  • Calvin - "Nature would surely be satisfied with water to drink! The addition of wine is thus due to God's overflowing generosity" in McGrath
3.2.4 Calvin's three aspects of spiritual truth presented in the visible bread and wine - McGrath
3.2.4.1 Signification of meaning

Annotations:

  • divine promises, enclosed with the sign itself
3.2.4.2 Believers are reassured

Annotations:

  • through the words of insititution; body and blood of JC shed for them
3.2.4.3 Confirms the promise

Annotations:

  • in which JC declares that his flesh is food indeed, and his blood drink indeed, and that they feed us with eternal life
3.3 PREDESTINATION
3.3.1 Popularly seen as rigorous -McGrath revises this

Annotations:

  • His successors in the later C16th needing to impose method on his thought, recasted Calvin's theology with rigorously logical structures of Aristotelian methodology favoured by the later Italian Renaissance. 
3.3.2 Aristotle on predestination - God giving grace to some, and passes over everyone else
3.3.2.1 Calvin's logical rigour

Annotations:

  • God actively chooses to redeem or to save
  • Predestination the eternal decree of God, by which he determined what he wished to make of every individual
  • Emphasising the graciousness of God; decision to redeem individuals irrespective of their merits - mystery of God
3.3.2.1.1 Luther

Annotations:

  • God's graciousness reflected in the fact that he justifies sinners, saving sinners DESPITE their demerits
3.3.3 Theology centred on and derived from JC

Annotations:

  • Witnessed by Scripture
  • Specific historical phenomenon of Jesus Christ, moving out to explore its implications
  • Language analytic and inductive, whereas Beza began from GENERAL principles and proceeded to deduce their consequences for Christian theology (approach was deductive and synthetic)
3.4 BAPTISM

Annotations:

  • Calvin - authentic tradition of the early church, NOT a later medieval development
3.4.1 Influenced by Zwingli

Annotations:

  • Calvin - baptism is a public demonstration of allegience to God - 'society of the church'. Declaratory role of the sacrament of baptism
3.4.2 Influenced by Luther

Annotations:

  • Baptism as a remission of sins and the new life of believers in JC
3.4.3 Calvin's justification of infant baptism in the face of Anabaptist rejection
3.5 PROVIDENCE
3.5.1 God created the world, remaining its absolute master
3.5.2 Taking interest in it, intervening in it at every moment and abandoning none of his power to the blindness of natural law
3.5.3 Every creature subject to God and his will

Annotations:

  • "Down to the least sparrow"
3.5.3.1 Calvin affirms this is true of man both in isolation and in society
3.5.4 History and revolutions regarded by Calvin as eloquent testimonies of God's power

Annotations:

  • 'Indicate that human things are directed by him’
3.5.5 Over the elect AND reprobate
3.6 SIN
3.6.1 Profoundest source of sin

Annotations:

  • Adam's original sin - Calvin views it as pride
3.6.1.1 Pride and faithlessness of Adam

Annotations:

  • Compared to Augustine's perception of self-love
3.6.2 Characterised by a disobedience inspired by pride
3.6.3 Weakness and powerlessness of Man

Annotations:

  • Place him in utter dependence upon the power and mercy of God - core of Calvinist thought
3.6.4 Since the Fall, man deprived of 'healthy will'

Annotations:

  • Care must be taken to distinguish between the will in itself, and a good or a bad will.
3.6.5 We sin voluntarily, by the force of our perverted and evil will
4 SACRAMENTS
4.1 Calvin saw them as identity-giving (McGrath)
4.1.1 "Wherever we find the Word of God preached purely and listened to, we cannot doubt that a church exists"

Annotations:

  • Presence of the authorised means of grace, which constitutes a true church - McGrath
4.2 Calvin's Two definitions
4.2.1 'External Symbol'

Annotations:

  • By which the Lord seals on our consciences his promises of good will towards us, in order to sustain the weakness of our faith
  • Calvin-promise and command of the Lord
  • "Our faith is weak unless it is supported on every side and sustained by every means. Here our merciful Lord, according to his infinite kindness, he condescend to lead us to himself by just earthly things, and to set before us in the flesh a mirror of spiritual blessings" - CALVIN
4.2.2 Visible Sign

Annotations:

  • of a sacred thing. or a visible form of an invisible grace - FROM AUGUSTINE
4.3 Middle ground between Zwingli and Luther of relation between sacramental sign and spiritual gift it signified

Annotations:

  • Calvin - such a close connection between the symbol and the gift which it symbolises that we 'can easily pass from the one to the other'.
  • Calvin-sign is visible and physical, whereas the thing signified is invisible and spiritual  - the thing that is signified is effected by its sign
  • Calvin - "Believers....whenever they see the symbols appointed by the Lord, to think and be convinced that the truth of the thing is surely present there."
4.3.1 McGrath - not ecclesiasticical diplomacy, but reflecting his own understanding

Annotations:

  • Calvin's single model - incarnation speaks of the union of divinity and humanity in the person of JC, but not fusion
  • Calvin - theology centred on 'knowledge of God and knowledge of ourselves' - McGrath
5 OT Prophets
5.1 Ganoczy
5.1.1 emphasised the prophetic awarenss at the heart of Calvin's pastoral and reforming vocation
5.1.2 Legimitised his work as a reformer by an appeal to the model of the OT prophets
5.2 Stauffer
5.2.1 Calvin's use of the first person in his sermons
5.2.1.1 Calvin's prophetic consciousness
5.3 Millet
5.3.1 Rhetoric had prophetic image
5.3.1.1 Prophetic fervour legitimised and structured his preaching
6 BOUWSMA
6.1 Anxiety central to his theology - that surrounding death and judgment
6.2 Constant preoccupation with order and impending reversion to chaos
6.3 Keeping human behaviour within boundaries
6.4 The need ot avoid pollution made excommunication an important element in Calvinist policy
6.4.1 Calvin's insistence on the simplicity of worship
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