James Swan March 19th, 2012 3:36 pm :Your comment is awaiting moderation.
“When I first began to study Calvin in earnest, I was puzzled by what seemed a glaring omission in his writings and sermons. He never counseled his readers and listeners to be “Born Again.”
Well, the 16th Century isn’t the 21st Century. Why would you expect that a state church fresh out of Roman Catholicism would sound like a Billy Graham crusade? That’s what’s called… anachronism.
Note the following from Calvin’s letter to Cardinal Sadoleto:
“I will not now enter upon a full discussion, which would require a large volume; but if you would look into the Catechism which I myself drew up for the Genevese, when I held the office of Pastor among them, three words would silence you. Here, however, I will briefly explain to you how we speak on this subject.
First, We bid a man begin by examining himself, and this not in a superficial and perfunctory manner, but to sist his conscience before the tribunal of God, and when sufficiently convinced of his iniquity, to reflect on the strictness of the sentence pronounced upon all sinners. Thus confounded and amazed at his misery, he is prostrated and humbled before God; and, casting away all self-confidence, groans as if given up to final perdition. Then we show that the only haven of safety is in the mercy of God, as manifested in Christ, in whom every part of our salvation is complete. As all mankind are, in the sight of God, lost sinners, we hold that Christ is their only righteousness, since, by his obedience, he has wiped off our transgressions; by his sacrifice, appeased the divine anger; by his blood, washed away our stains; by his cross, borne our curse; and by his death, made satisfaction for us. We maintain that in this way man is reconciled in Christ to God the Father, by no merit of his own, by no value of works, but by gratuitous mercy. When we embrace Christ by faith, and come, as it were, into communion with him, this we term, after the manner of Scripture, the righteousness of faith.”
One question in regard to your view of Calvin and baptism: how influenced are you by Federal Vision studies into Calvin? As I researched your view of Calvin on Baptism, it seemed very similar to the Federal Vision “revision” of Calvin’s views on the sacraments.