Primary Source Analysis : John Calvin

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Prerak Sachdev Western Civilization Prof. Andrew 4th December 2015 Primary Source Analysis - John Calvin: On Predestination In 1536, John Calvin was a French lawyer and theologian who lived in Geneva, Switzerland. He published a book titled Institutes of the Christian Religion. Originally published his work in Latin but subsequently translated into different European languages. The Institutes outlined Calvin’s basic philosophies on “predestination” as a precondition for salvation. Calvin, like many Christian reformers during the Reformation, was most fascinated in discovering the true way to heaven. As he fought to comprehend the word of God, Calvin came to a logical spat regarding salvation. By Calvin’s ideas, since God was…show more content…
One objection to his doctrine was that it portrayed God as tyrannical, condemning people who, before creation, had done nothing wrong. A second related objection was that if God willed humanity’s fall in Adam—as Calvin maintained —why does he condemn those in the sinful condition he willed? Moreover, are such people justly condemned for sin they could not avoid? Who can resist the will of God? Calvin answered these objections in two ways. First, he conserved that God’s will was the “highest rule of righteousness,” and therefore anything that God wills—such as predestination—“must be considered righteous,” or just, irrespective of how it appeared to us. For Calvin, God’s will had “its own equity. Here Calvin upheld the justice of God but asserted that it was simply “unknown” to us on some level. Thus, God’s justice was eventually hidden and mysterious. With Paul (Rom. 9.20), Calvin affirmed that it was simply not our place to question God. He rejected that God was lawless, and also rejected that God had must given us an account of his justice, or that we were fit to “pronounce judgment [on God]…according to our own understanding. It was absurd to accuse God because of our own lack of understanding. Since predestination yields the glory of God, it must be just: “whatever deserves praise must be just. Calvin’s second response was that since all people, including the sinner, are “vitiated by sin,” and so
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