From John Calvin to Calvinism Leading up to the Reformation … • The Black Plague (1346-1353) • swept across Europe killing 30-60% of Europe’s total population • No explanation or solution could be offered by the RC Church. The Renaissance (1300-1600) • A rise in scientific development and optimism in man’s ability and achievement. • An intense focus on the “how” of the universe rather than the “why”. A number of factors in the mix • Adult literacy was increasingly becoming commonplace. • Humanism, Printing press, growth of paper industry, social advancement • Enchiridion militis Christiani or Handbook of the Christian Soldier by Erasmus, 1503 (3 ed.s) (translated into English by William Tyndale in 1533) A number of factors in the mix • Adult literacy was increasingly becoming commonplace. • The growth of a popularist, personal religion vs. the traditional, medieval, institutional church. • A rise in anti-Clericalism • Local priests were often untrained, unschooled • Official positions in the church were among the highest paid • Corruption and immorality had grown rampant. The Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536) made religion transparent and relevant. • Implicit faith was replaced with understanding of the Bible. • The Bible regained the primacy of authority from God. • It connected the believer directly to God vs. the mediation of the church. • Challenging the church could be legitimately done by the individual. • The individual understood his own responsibility to God. Calvin died in 1564 “By the end of the third quarter of the sixteenth century Calvinism was established as an international religion, convinced of its ability and right to cast society in a new mould.” (McGrath, p. 196) “Calvin’s greatest achievement was the creation of a new type of human being – the Calvinist, with a ‘can-do’ attitude to life, grounded in a sense of God’s calling and empowerment.” (E. Leonard) Lutheranism had been “the first wave of the Reformation [which] had crashed against its shore, and spent itself; a second now followed. Calvin’s star rose, and was soon in ascendancy.” (McGrath, p. 197) • Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (along with at least nine of his other writings) had been officially banned in France since 1542, but that could not halt the circulation of his books. As a result, Geneva was identified as a subversive center because of its publishing; and the 1551 Edict of Chateaubriand forbade, among other things, important or circulating Genevan books. “Calvinism” • 1st introduced into the mainstream by Lutheran J. Westphal to refer, primarily to his sacramental views. • The term began to be widely used by supporters and antagonists alike. • 1563 - Calvinism provided the backbone for the Heidelberg Catechism, showing a defection from Lutheranism. Jacobus Arminius, 1560-1609 • Rejected the ultimate conclusion of predestination and a restricted efficacy. • Dutch Protestants, supporting Arminius’ teaching, called the Remonstrants proposed: • Fallen man is depraved and in need of being born again of God. • God’s election is conditioned upon faith, foreknown by God. • Christ’s death was efficacious for all but is only enjoyed by the believer. • God’s saving grace may be resisted by the free will of fallen man. • Even those with true faith may still fall away from salvation. Two Systems of Thought Arminius & the Remonstrants Calvin and the Dutch Reformed At the Synod of Dort, 1618-1619 • Total Incapability • Confirmational Election • Universal atonement • Cooperative Grace • Determinative Assurance • Total Depravity • Unconditional Election • Limited Atonement • Irresistible Grace • Perseverance of the Saints Perseverance of the Saints Irresistible Grace Limited Atonement Unconditional Election Total Depravity The T.U.L.I.P. “Puritans” Mayflower, 1620 Mayflower Compact IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, “Calvinism Lite” • Embracing Pluralism “Calvinism Lite” • United States – 1775-1783 • Lawful rebellion against a tyrant, • a “just-war” principle, • and a morality that curbed cruelty. • Formation of a republic • with checks and balances, • the rule of law • regular, honored elections. • and a separation of church and state, the rule of law, and regular, honored elections, • united (informally) under a biblical world and life view. “Calvinism Lite” • Embracing Pluralism • Social Democracy 1804 “Calvinism Lite” Voltaire • France – 1789-1799 • Rejection of a biblical world and life view encouraged cruelty & injustice. • Rejection of aristocracy as a rightfully superior class. • Democracy based on libertarianism “’Calvinism’ thus came to mean something different in each of its local manifestations, • which led to inevitable return of tyranny. reflecting local factors which combined to give it a different shape, a different persona, in its various locations.” (McGraph, p. 208) “Calvinism Lite” • Embracing Pluralism • Social Democracy • Unbridled Capitalism “ … the failure to maintain a proper dialectic between God and the world leads to the collapse of the divine into the secular. Calvinist moral, economic, social and political structures and values, although firmly grounded in theology, could easily become detached from those theological foundations, and maintain an independent existence.” (McGrath, p. 221) Calvinistic Work Ethic “The believer is called to serve God in the world. Calvin’s insistence that the individual believer could be called by God to serve him in every sphere of worldly existence lent a new dignity and meaning to work. The believer is not called to leave the world and enter a monastery, but to enter fully into the life of the world, and thus to transform it. Mundane labor became an integral part of Calvin’s spirituality … it was the religiously sanctioned ideal. … Action in the world was dignified and sanctified. (McGrath, p. 232-3) Calvinistic Work Ethic “Capitalism and Calvinism were virtually coextensive by the middle of the seventeenth century.” “Even in catholic countries – such as France or Austria – it was Calvinists who developed their industrial and capital potential. It was not Protestants in general, but Calvinists in particular, who developed capitalism. … Where Calvinism flourished, there too did capitalism.” (McGrath, p. 237) Industrial Revolution 1760-1840 • Calvin started with the 4th Commandment – • Honoring the Lord’s Day with a holy rest from labor • Led to the understanding that work during the other 6 days was, likewise, holy. • Work was dignified, honorable, and worthy as labor was a calling from God. • In setting aside the God of the 4th Commandment – • Work becomes all-consuming – every minute, every dollar counts. • Work becomes mechanical, segmented, inhuman. • The usefulness of Sunday for even more commerce is monopolized. “Calvinism Heavy” • A relentless inner momentum for theological systemization • More sophistication and universality • Less attachment to piety and devotion • Christian religion pressed into a logical, systematic unity and viewed scientifically. “Reason, regarded with a certain degree of suspicion by Calvin, was now seized upon as an ally.” (McGrath, p. 212) • Doctrine became more philosophical. • Predestination, for Calvin, was an extension of the doctrine of salvation; later, it became a part of the doctrine of God. • The efficacy of Christ’s death limited those for whom Christ died. 2nd Great Awakening – early 19th c. & Finney’s rejection of Calvinism • He appealed to Rationalism rather than the Scriptures in his theology. • He denied the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity. • He affirmed a universal, governmental atonement. • He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being. • He replaced the grace of God with moralism and held to Christian perfectionism. th 19 – th 20 c. Variations on a Theme • Debate over Literalism – Dispensationalism’s emphasis on wooden literalism vs. the use of metaphorical language. th 19 – th 20 c. Variations on a Theme • Debate over Literalism – Dispensationalism’s emphasis on wooden literalism vs. the use of metaphorical language. • Neo-Orthodoxy – A way to interact with Liberalism. th 19 – th 20 c. Variations on a Theme • Debate over Literalism – Dispensationalism’s emphasis on wooden literalism vs. the use of metaphorical language. • Neo-Orthodoxy – God’s Spirit speaks through the word • Accommodation – • true history vs. myth • challenge of the historical record itself on all fronts (Did Moses exist? Jesus?) th 19 – th 20 c. Variations on a Theme • Debate over Literalism – Dispensationalism’s emphasis on wooden literalism vs. the use of metaphorical language. • Neo-Orthodoxy – God’s Spirit speaks through the word • Accommodation – • true history vs. myth • challenge of the historical record itself on all fronts (Did Moses exist? Jesus?) • New, “Restless” Calvinism – • A forsaking of the institution of the church • A forsaking of the covenantal structure of revelation United States Presbyterianism • Polity • Calvinistic • Covenantal New Covenant Presbyterian Church Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace to a World of Need 128 St. Mary’s Church Rd. Abingdon, MD 21009 410-569-0289 www.ncpres.org www.ephesians515.com Handbook of the Christian Knight • The church could be reformed/renewed by the laity. • The clergy may assist the laity in their understanding of their faith but do not have superior status. • Religion is an inner, spiritual affair • The institutional church is de-emphasized and focuses on the growth of the individual believer.