[quote=Unfinished]I wish to purchase this book at a later date (Next pay check :P), but I had heard some information from it and I was wondering if anyone could provide a reference or perhaps a link to the lines of this book I am talking about.
There is part of this book where Calvin talks about all the reasons why you should break away from the Church.
He may have valid arguements about how the Church was wrong. And it is never good to go in unprepared.
I have a disscussion planned with a Protestant this weekend and I discovered he is a Calvinist. Just thought it will be helpful to use some of Calvin’s logic. About the only Calvin specific teaching I can pretend to understand is predestination, which also makes no sense to me.
That’s not fair to Calvin - primarily, it is a work of constructive Christian theology: the attacks on the CC are not really highly visible until Book Four, and they are there because he was arguing for something positive: a Christian doctrine of the Church’s sacraments. The attacks are incidental to his constructive work.
He is not everyone’s cup of tea, not by a long way - but he was a formidable theologian, and more than a theologian - he was a commentator on the Bible, a pastor, preacher, ecclesiastical statesman, letter-writer. The Institutes is at least as important as important for its influence on the future as the Summa Theologiae or Newman’s Essay on Development of Doctrine.
As for predestination - he discusses it at length in his book “The Eternal Predestination of God” written in 1552; as well as in Book Three of the Institutes.
The Eternal Predestination of God**& **The Secret Providence of God
Book Three of the Institutes:
Eternal Election, by Which God Has Predestined Some to Salvation, Others to Destruction.
Confirmation of This Doctrine from Scriptural Testimonies.
Refutation of the False Accusations with Which This Doctrine Has Always Been Unjustly Burdened.
Election Is Confirmed by God’s Call; Moreover, the Wicked Bring Upon Themselves the Just Destruction to Which They Are Destined.,
[/list]and click on the headings
His doctrine of predestination comes from his emphasis on the graciousness of God: salvation is something to which sinful man has not a shadow of a right - it is so entirely the gift of God, that there is no unjustice whatever in with-holding it. God is supremely free - no creature can have any rights against Him.
There is much more to it than that of course - it’s important because for Calvin the honour and glory of God was of the highest importance: and that is a very powerful spiritual emphasis, and also a temptation: it can make men into missionaries, by nerving them to put their whole hearts into serving God, no matter what; or into persecutors. It’s done both. ##