Is calvanism biblical ?

Is calvanism biblical ? And I found this about it below but what does that say about us ?
thinkaboutit77.hubpages.com/hub/Is-The-Doctrine-Of-Calvinism-Biblical-Or-Not

Do your homework and history shows us that Calvinism doesn’t really come from John Calvin it comes from Augustine (one of the fathers of the Roman Catholic Church and called the father of the inquisition.)
Calvin quotes Augustine in his “Institutes on the Christian Religion” over 400 times.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Calvin derived it [Calvinism] mainly from the writings of Augstine.” (as cited in Dave Hunt’s book on Calvinism “What Love is This?”.
John Calvin admitted that if he wanted to write a confession of his faith he could only do so only with the writings of Augustine.
D. James Kennedy said in his book “Why I Am a Presbyterian” on pg 193 “I am a Presbyterian because I believe that Presbyterianism is the purest form of Calvinism”
RC Sproul said, “Augustinianism is presently called Calvinism or Reformed Theology”.
Calvinists agree that Calvin is not the originator of Calvinism, but Augustine was the one who came up with these ideas.
**Catholic Connection: Luther was an Augustinian monk and Calvin immersed himself in the writings of Augustine. The 2 best known fathers of the Protestant Reformation [Luther, Calvin] were heavily influenced by Augustine the devout Roman Catholic.

They are interpreting Augustine with protestant eyes. Augustine was in fact a Catholic.

This is good reading for you:calledtocommunion.com/2010/06/how-john-calvin-made-me-a-catholic/

Called by whom? Because he said “compel them to come in”? It’s a silly label.

And not relevant. . . .

Calvin quotes Augustine in his “Institutes on the Christian Religion” over 400 times.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Calvin derived it [Calvinism] mainly from the writings of Augstine.” (as cited in Dave Hunt’s book on Calvinism “What Love is This?”.
John Calvin admitted that if he wanted to write a confession of his faith he could only do so only with the writings of Augustine.
D. James Kennedy said in his book “Why I Am a Presbyterian” on pg 193 “I am a Presbyterian because I believe that Presbyterianism is the purest form of Calvinism”
RC Sproul said, “Augustinianism is presently called Calvinism or Reformed Theology”.
Calvinists agree that Calvin is not the originator of Calvinism, but Augustine was the one who came up with these ideas.
**Catholic Connection: Luther was an Augustinian monk and Calvin immersed himself in the writings of Augustine. The 2 best known fathers of the Protestant Reformation [Luther, Calvin] were heavily influenced by Augustine the devout Roman Catholic.

  1. It’s anachronistic to call Augustine a “Roman Catholic.” He was a Catholic in the sense that term bore in his day.

  2. Yes, Calvin’s doctrine of predestination is *in its basic outlines *the same as Augustine’s. This doctrine was also held (again, in its basic form) by Luther and by many Catholic theologians of the sixteenth century, as well as by such great medieval theologians as Thomas Aquinas. However, there are some differences:
    a. Calvin is less careful to preserve some meaningful account of free will than Augustine, and much less so than the medieval theologians or the later Catholic “Thomists” (who are themselves not simply identical to Aquinas or the other great medieval scholastics).
    b. Calvin, like Zwingli, held to the doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints”–i.e., that only the elect experience regeneration. This has radical consequences for soteriology and sacramental theology–something Calvinists typically do not recognize.
    c. Similarly, the Reformers as a whole held to the possibility of “assurance”–for the Reformed this effectively meant assurance of final perseverance (see the point above).

So Calvin’s basic claims about predestination are indeed those of Augustine, but the theological context is very different.

Edwin

We could only say that Calvanism comes Augustine if Calvanism reflects what Augustine wrote in totality. Altough some might point to a few similarities and say they are identical, they certianly can’t point to all of it and say, “calvin just repeated what augustine said”.

The term Roman Catholic still bears the same meaning today. Augustine is one of the Church Fathers. He played a big role in explaining what being Catholic is.

You can’t be speaking of doctrinally:confused:

That’s a bit too sweeping, and would prevent us from ever saying that anything came from anyone, since no two Christian theologians ever say exactly the same things.

It all depends on what we mean by “Calvinism.” In common usage today, “Calvinism” means “predestination that is not based on foreknowledge.” In that sense, “Calvinism” did indeed come from Augustine, and was also held by Aquinas, and even as far as I can tell Molina (whose doctrine of “middle knowledge” is often seen as the Catholic equivalent of Arminianism).

That’s an important point. But once that point has been made, it’s then important to point out that this basic understanding of predestination operates in rather different theological contexts in Calvin and Augustine. Not entirely different, though–the similarities go way beyond the bare affirmation of predestination “ante praevisa merita” and are far from trivial. But significant, as I said above.

Calvin is a more thoroughly “Augustinian” theologian than Luther or Melanchthon, I’d say.

Edwin

Specifically, TULIP was an invention of Calvin that occured because of his lack of understanding of scripture and his over reliance on legal terminology. It does not reflect the teachings of Augustine or of the Catholic Church.

Reading some of the comments, I find it interesting that people really believe that anything that came from the Catholic Church must be evil. Do they not know that we are the ones who preserved and proclaimed the bible for two thousand years?

:confused: So what has changed from being a Catholic then to being called a RC today?

And what is the sense that term bore in his day? :confused:

As I read the Op, this passage came to mind…
10 I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chlo’e’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apol’los,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
1 Cor 1
What is this about Calvin needing only the writings of Augustine to write a profession of his faith. If that is the Case then is his faith “Christian” or Augustian"?

And can Calvinism be said to reflect the biblical exhortation above when it DID cause dissension and arguing and Schism within the Body of Christ?

Of course i recognize that, at the time, there was MUCH argumentation and little real charitable discussion going on at that time in the Western Church…More is the pity for we still deal with the open wounds left by that time…

Another aspect of the title question would be this…If Calvin posed his theology to the EO Church, what would their response have been?
I ask this because recently someone posted a link where apparently the Lutherans had approached the EO with their confessions in an attempt to gain the EO’s endorsement. They were eventually rebuffed…The EO did not consider their views to be properly orthodox. I wonder if the Calvinists were involved in this or something similar…

After all, if the RC says you are wrong AND the EO says you are wrong…The two ancient Christian Churches…How “biblical” can you claim to be…you have “(told) it to the Church” but then you fail to “listen even to the Church” (Mt 18:15-18)…

Just some random thoughts…

Peace
James

Lots of doctrinal definitions have been added that hadn’t been heard of in Augustine’s day–and of course there have been huge changes in polity, liturgy, culture, etc.

Definitions are always “over against” something else.

In Augustine’s day, to be a “Catholic” meant that you weren’t a Manichee or a Donatist or an Arian or a Jew or a pagan.

Today, it means, for instance, that you aren’t Eastern Orthodox or Protestant.

Edwin

Calvin didn’t invent “TULIP.” The Synod of Dordt did. Calvin did not clearly teach “limited atonement,” and on the whole the evidence seems to be that he believed in what would later be called “general” atonement and was a “four-point Calvinist.”

The only one of the other four points that was clearly not taught by Augustine was perseverance of the saints. The “T,” The “U,” and the “I” were essentially taught by Augustine, though one can argue for nuanced points of difference between Augustine and Calvin even here.

Edwin

We do not define ourselves by what we are not, but rather by what we are. What we are has not changed and while there are many things which over time we have come to express more clearly, nothing was (or could be) added. There have been many heresies since Augustine’s time so the church has had to discuss and afirm many pre-existing understandings, but it has never added.

For example, the Church has never had to say that Jesus is from another planet and came that we might be gods of other planets. It has never made such a statement because it hasn’t come up (until now…). But just because the Church didn’t explicitly say it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t always true.

If Calvin said that (and I vaguely remember something of the sort), he was engaging in rhetorical exaggeration at best.

There’s nothing in Augustine about imputed righteousness, for instance. Augustine’s views on “care for the dead” would have been condemned by Calvin as rank superstition, maybe even idolatry, if uttered by anyone else.

If that is the Case then is his faith “Christian” or Augustian"?

That seems unfair. I wouldn’t have asked the late Fr. Ralph McInerny, for instance, whether he was a Christian or a Thomist. To be a Thomist or an Augustinian is ipso facto to be a Christian. . . . .

And can Calvinism be said to reflect the biblical exhortation above when it DID cause dissension and arguing and Schism within the Body of Christ?

Well, Calvin addressed that point on a number of occasions: in his Reply to Sadoleto, in Book 4, chap. 2, of the Institutes, and in his treatise on “the necessity of reformation,” just to name the three most famous examples I can think of.

I do not find his explanations convincing. He and those who follow his arguments had to do two things simultaneously:

  1. Show that they were not breaking continuity with the historic Catholic Church that had existed throughout the centuries up to that point; and
  2. Justify their breach with Rome.

I do not believe that Calvin (or anyone else) succeeded in doing these two things simultaneously. But one needs to recognize that he tried. He did not, like later radical Protestants, simply write off the pre-Reformation Church. nor did he, like many modern evangelicals, deny the importance of visible unity.

I know at least one former Calvinist who became Catholic precisely based on this logic–Calvin’s own ecclesiology leads to Catholicism once one rejects his harsh judgment of the Roman Communion (and if one doesn’t reject that judgment, then one has to make some very nimble historical moves in order not to project that judgment backward over a good deal of the Middle Ages, and perhaps even parts of the early Church).

Another aspect of the title question would be this…If Calvin posed his theology to the EO Church, what would their response have been?
I ask this because recently someone posted a link where apparently the Lutherans had approached the EO with their confessions in an attempt to gain the EO’s endorsement. They were eventually rebuffed…The EO did not consider their views to be properly orthodox. I wonder if the Calvinists were involved in this or something similar…

Not that I know of. Although some Orthodox priests did go to Geneva for their education, and one of them actually became Patriarch of Constantinople and briefly tried to make the Orthodox Church Calvinist. . . .

Edwin

It’s not that simple.

If I presented myself to the Catholic Church of Augustine’s day, I would not be asked

  1. if I believed in the Immaculate Conception
  2. if I believed in papal infallibility
  3. if I believed in transubstantiation (Augustine’s own language about the Real Presence is at times hard to square with transubstantiation, though that doesn’t mean that it was “Protestant”)
  4. if I accepted the practice of indulgences

And so on–there are lots more examples.

Edwin

Either I havn’t found this particular writting of Augustine or you must be drastically misinterpreting his writtings. Do you have any particular references where he tought any part of TULIP? Also “nuances” are important. It can be the difference between saying that Christ came to save all who would respond and desire to be saved and saying that Christ came to save only a small specific group of people and anyone else is condemned to hell even if they desire to be saved.

These are all discussion of the question, “What is true?” not to the question “Who am I?”.

That’s precisely what he is talking about. It’s the same question I asked as well.

I have a Calvinist friend. Most everything they believe has Biblical backing, though I would argue they lack whole truth and sometimes the interpretation isn’t perfect. I have trouble with their beliefs on it being predetermined who is saved.

Luther and Calvin were Catholic (until they left the Church) so it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they agreed with the Church Fathers on many points.

The Calvinists did indeed present their theology in the East, I think it was in Russia.

Sorry I can’t make any authoritative quotes. It is referrenced in the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Timothy Ware.

But I no longer own that book.

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