August 11, 2005

An Excellent John Calvin (1509–1564) Quote on Redeemed Souls Perishing

David Ponter continually posts excellent quotes from Calvin at the Calvin and Calvinism list (a place that I frequent because of the focus of my current studies) like the one below. I thought I would put this quote on my blog so that others may see it. There are a plenty of statements like these in Calvin, yet he continues to be misrepresented in the secondary literature. What is called "Calvinism" today is significantly different from Calvin's Calvinism. The "Calvinism" today is really Owenism, and few seem to recognize the significant differences historically and theologically. The conceptual shifts that take place in Owen's theology have serious ramifications for theology proper, Christology, and soteriology. Few people seem to be pointing it out, so that's why my blog seems like a sounding board on this subject. Many "Calvinists" today are suffering from the sickness of decretalism (hence the decretalization of passages that really have the preceptive will in view), and a return to Calvin will begin to help remedy the situation. It will also help to remedy the coldness in the hearts of some TULIPers, even as it protects them from the errors of Arminianism and Open Theism.

Anyway, here's the Calvin quote:
Thus all the more ought we groan, seeing that the world is too perverse to return to God, but rather elects to oppose him. This seeing how truly the Devil has blinded humankind, we are right to feel dejected and sad. Why? Because to see souls created in the image of God move toward their own damnation is hardly a light matter, especially souls that were redeemed at such a cost by the blood of God's Son. It ought to make us sad to see them perish so miserably. Above all, we must keep in mind the purpose for which our Lord ordained the preaching of the Gospel, that by faith, as Saint Paul says, we might render to God the obedience and honor that God is due [1 Timothy 1:17; 6;16], and that humankind might be saved, "for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" [Romans 1:16]. Consequently, in view of the fact that human malice frustrates God's intentions, we are justified in raising a lament similar to Micah's.
Calvin, Sermons on Micah, Sermon 25, 7:1-3, p. 371.

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