Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A very rough guide to Calvin's theology: Glory!

If evangelicalism is to have a future as a movement that is faithful to the gospel then we need a good dose of Calvin’s theology. We must hold that the triune God of the Gospel is still mighty to save sinners by his sovereign grace.

I have but given you a very rough, sketchy and incomplete guide to Calvin’s life and thought. A little series of blog posts can but suggest something of Calvin's theology in all its grandeur and breadth. Contrary to popular misconception, there is certainly more to him than predestination. Calvin gives us invaluable insight into the nature of biblical revelation, the Trinity, and Christ in his offices of Prophet, Priest and King. His teaching on salvation through union with Christ, and the gift of 'double grace' in him, is especially helpful. What he has to say on living the Christian life is full of practical wisdom.

What I like above all else about Calvin and his theological vision is his utter God-centeredness. His focus is not on man and his abilities, but on God and his sin-conquering, life transforming grace. His theology is careful to give God all the glory for our salvation.

Glory to the Father for choosing to save a sinners like us! Glory to the Son for dying to redeem a save sinners like us! Glory to the Spirit for savingly uniting a sinners like us to Christ!

Calvin calls us to live for the glory of God:

Let this, then, be the first step, to abandon ourselves and devote the whole energy of our minds to the service of God. (Institutes III: 7: 1)

We are no to seek our own, but the Lord’s will, and act with a view to promote his glory. (Institutes III: 7: 2)

May we say together with John Calvin in the words of his family motto:

“I offer my heart to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely”

More stuff
Calvin: still hot at 500 an article in the Times on the "new Calvinists". Mostly on the Young, Restless, Reformed American scene. Why no attention to Calvinism in the UK? H/T David Ceri.

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