I’ve heard it said that one spark from a campfire can travel over a mile before burning out. But there is one spark that has managed to travel thousands of miles, even across oceans, and through five centuries of time and has spread a blaze across the world; this spark is the reformation doctrine of … Continue reading The Word that Sparked the Reformation
The doctrine of justification by faith alone is the doctrine on which the Church stands or falls. Perhaps some of you have heard that before. I want to take it a step further and say that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is not only the doctrine on which the Church stands or falls, … Continue reading Justification: Will You Stand or Fall?
Michael Servetus was a thinker who seems to have been the first to describe the “pulmonary transit” of blood through the lung from the heart’s right ventricle to the left auricle. He didn't, however, stick to anatomical studies, he ventured into theology. By doing so, he embraced a heretical view by rejecting the Trinity and … Continue reading TODAY 1553: John Calvin & Michael Servetus
Prayer is a glorious gift we have been given by God. It is the heartbeat of the Christian life. It is communing with the most pleasant company anyone could ever have. In prayer we grow closer to God by receiving more of God. Our hearts, and therefore our lives, are further conformed to the image … Continue reading Prayer: A Mixture of Faith and Error
In his writing and preaching John Calvin touched on almost every topic of concern to human life, including music. Here is an excerpt from Calvin’s preface to the Genevan Psalter: “Now among the other things which are proper for recreating man and giving him pleasure, music is either the first, or one of the principal; and … Continue reading John Calvin on Music
Surely just as waters boil up from a vast, full spring, so does an immense crowd of gods flow forth from the human mind, while each one, in wandering about with too much license, wrongly invents this or that about God Himself. (John Calvin: Institutes, book 1, chapter 5, paragraph 12) What then are we … Continue reading Inventing gods and Squashing them by Eternal Truth
I have often found it fascinating to read vivid and plain descriptions of ordinary things. John Calvin does this very well in most things, especially regarding the faculties God has given man. Thus let us, therefore hold - as indeed is suitable to our present purpose - that the human soul consists of two faculties, … Continue reading Human Faculties 101
Have you ever wondered if you're wise or have been endowed by God with wisdom? John Calvin will clear this up for you: But without controversy, just as man was made for meditation upon the heavenly life, so it is certain that the knowledge of it was engraved upon his soul. And if human happiness, … Continue reading How to Know if You’ve Been Endowed With Reason
God is not without a sense a humor. Theologically, this appears often in the most unexpected places. Such is the case with the theologically robust Institutes from John Calvin. It does take a theological mind to understand this humor, so if you find yourself wondering why this is funny, read it again. When a certain … Continue reading A Humorous Moment in Calvin
Scripture is superior to all human wisdom. (Institutes, 1.8.1) The Power of Scripture is clear from that fact that human writings, however artfully polished, there is none capable of affecting us at all comparably. Read Demosthenes, Cicero, Plato, Aristotle, and others of that tribe. They will I admit allure you, delight you, move you, … Continue reading Nuggets of Gold from Calvin about the Word
Many people tell me they do not like John Calvin. Of all the reasons I hear (which is many) one rises to the top. People tell me the reason they don't like Calvin is because "systems of doctrine rid our faith of the mystery that is present and eradicates true love for God." I obviously … Continue reading Why Calvin Wanted to Study the Word
Last but not least (at all!) on my list of those who've influenced me most who are currently dead is the theologian and reformer John Calvin. I did save him for last because Calvin has had an enormous impact on me. And it is partly what you'd expect but partly something you wouldn't expect too. … Continue reading John Calvin: The Theologian
Douglas Sweeney: During the years I’ve taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, I’ve frequently been asked whether Luther was a Calvinist. The answer, of course, is no. Calvinism didn’t emerge until the end of Luther’s life. Arminianism emerged long after Luther had passed away. So Luther himself never engaged the controversy that divided Reformed Protestantism after … Continue reading Was Luther a Calvinist?
In 1555 John Calvin wrote this in a letter to Philip Melanchthon: It behooves us to accomplish what God requires of us, even when we are in the greatest despair respecting the results. What was Calvin trying to do here? He is trying to encourage Melancthon, that is clear, but notice how he encourages him. … Continue reading Despairing Over the Visible Results of Ministry
What is a pastor? Hebrews 5:1-4 says: For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his … Continue reading What is a Pastor?