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The Shocking Beliefs of...

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  • The Shocking Beliefs of...

    Frank Viola has an interesting series dealing with the shocking beliefs of some influential Christian thinkers throughout history. Here is an interesting one on John Calvin:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankvi...NjYxMDE1NDk3S0

    Discuss your thoughts.

  • #2
    3. Calvin believed that the Reformed Church (his church) was the true Church and there was no salvation outside of it.

    Calvin persuaded an Anabapist named Herman to leave the Anabaptists (which he considered a sect), and join the Reformed church. He wrote the following, which sounds strikingly similar to the way the Catholics of that time spoke of the Roman Catholic Church:

    “Herman has, if I am not mistaken, in good faith returned to the fellowship of the Church. He has confessed that outside the Church there is no salvation, and that the true Church is with us. Therefore, it was defection when he belonged to a sect separated from it.” [7]
    Most interesting and amusing.

    Comment


    • #3
      So how could anybody have been saved before Calvin founded his church?

      I take Frank Viola with a grain of salt, by the way... but I know there was a lot about Calvin that modern Reformed Christians would prefer to overlook.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        I take Frank Viola with a grain of salt, by the way...
        This is due to the fact that he chose not to receive any academic theological training, right?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          This is due to the fact that he chose not to receive any academic theological training, right?
          Largely after reading Ben Witherington's review of Pagan Christianity, which documents some sloppy research:

          http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/...barna-and.html
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            So how could anybody have been saved before Calvin founded his church?
            I don't quite see why you need to impose the notion of 'founding'; it is likely that he thought that through him and others the Church was being renewed from its corruption under the Popes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              I don't quite see why you need to impose the notion of 'founding'; it is likely that he thought that through him and others the Church was being renewed from its corruption under the Popes.
              You say "and others", but is there any evidence he was open to anybody else's reforms? The link talks about how he rejoiced over somebody's departure from the Anabaptist movement, which was also a response to papal corruption.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                You say "and others"
                Which referred to Calvin's own Reformed coworkers. Nothing more.

                Comment


                • #9
                  At one point I might have been shocked by #4, but it seems to fall in line with some of the descriptions and names used by various writers in the Bible. Jesus wasn't exactly flattering to the Pharisees.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                    At one point I might have been shocked by #4, but it seems to fall in line with some of the descriptions and names used by various writers in the Bible. Jesus wasn't exactly flattering to the Pharisees.
                    The examples mentioned in the article are completely G-rated and tame compared to some of what Martin Luther said.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                      The examples mentioned in the article are completely G-rated and tame compared to some of what Martin Luther said.
                      This I think, is the reason that it's not "shocking" like he seemed to intend it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I found some of the content in #5 most shocking/disturbing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Most of these shocking teachings were characteristics of the time, and not specific to Calvin or Protestantism.

                          1) People on all sides, except probably the Anabaptists, believed that heresy was an attack on what holds together the nation.

                          2) Calvin believed that in the sacrament we truly commune on Christ. This is well known to Reformed Christians, who have always claimed that Reformed Christianity teaches the Real Presence. Of course he does not believe that this happens to someone who participates without faith. Hence it would be misleading to understand this quote as implying that the eucharist provides salvation without faith.

                          3) I would be a bit cautious about this. Calvin believed that both Rome and the Anabaptists were not part of the true church, and he did say that there is no salvation outside the Church. However in Institutes 4.2.12, he seems to accept that remnants of the people of God exist in at least Rome. I would assume the same would be true of the Anabaptists.

                          4) The use of name-calling seems to have been common in all writings until the 20th Cent. Indeed it persists even now.

                          5) It was generally understood that the State was responsible for the morals of the people. Calvin differed primarily in how conscientious he was in implementing ideas that all in principle agreed with. Treatment of offenders in the 16th Cent followed approaches that in my opinion are not Christian.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hedrick View Post
                            Most of these shocking teachings were characteristics of the time, and not specific to Calvin or Protestantism.

                            2) Calvin believed that in the sacrament we truly commune on Christ. This is well known to Reformed Christians, who have always claimed that Reformed Christianity teaches the Real Presence.
                            They would be wrong, of course. A nice way to discover if someone believes in the Real Presence is to ask them if anyone who gnashes the communion wafer between their teeth and drinks the communion wine is gnashing the actual body of Christ between their teeth and drinking the actual blood of Christ when drinking the communion wine. If they deny this they're not teaching the Real Presence, whatever they might claim.

                            Reformed Christianity does not teach the Real Presence, it teaches a spiritual presence. And how could it do otherwise, after having denied the communion of attributes of the two natures of Christ?

                            Originally posted by hedrick View Post
                            4) The use of name-calling seems to have been common in all writings until the 20th Cent. Indeed it persists even now.


                            Source: Luther, Martin (2006-02-26). Concerning Christian Liberty (pp. 1-2). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.


                            I have indeed inveighed sharply against impious doctrines, and I have not been slack to censure my adversaries on account, not of their bad morals, but of their impiety. And for this I am so far from being sorry that I have brought my mind to despise the judgments of men and to persevere in this vehement zeal, according to the example of Christ, who, in His zeal, calls His adversaries a generation of vipers, blind, hypocrites, and children of the devil. Paul, too, charges the sorcerer with being a child of the devil, full of all subtlety and all malice; and defames certain persons as evil workers, dogs, and deceivers. In the opinion of those delicate-eared persons, nothing could be more bitter or intemperate than Paul's language. What can be more bitter than the words of the prophets? The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive that anything of ours is not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed;

                            © Copyright Original Source

                            ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                              Originally posted by hedrick View Post
                              4) The use of name-calling seems to have been common in all writings until the 20th Cent. Indeed it persists even now.


                              Source: Luther, Martin (2006-02-26). Concerning Christian Liberty (pp. 1-2). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.


                              I have indeed inveighed sharply against impious doctrines, and I have not been slack to censure my adversaries on account, not of their bad morals, but of their impiety. And for this I am so far from being sorry that I have brought my mind to despise the judgments of men and to persevere in this vehement zeal, according to the example of Christ, who, in His zeal, calls His adversaries a generation of vipers, blind, hypocrites, and children of the devil. Paul, too, charges the sorcerer with being a child of the devil, full of all subtlety and all malice; and defames certain persons as evil workers, dogs, and deceivers. In the opinion of those delicate-eared persons, nothing could be more bitter or intemperate than Paul's language. What can be more bitter than the words of the prophets? The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive that anything of ours is not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed;

                              © Copyright Original Source

                              http://ergofabulous.org/luther/
                              "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
                              -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

                              Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
                              1 Corinthians 16:13

                              "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
                              -Ben Witherington III

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