Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Calvin Rebuffs Dan Brown

Hooray!  My order from Keurig arrived yesterday.  I am enjoying a cup of Black Tiger coffee brought to me in bed.  It may be my favorite coffee ever.  I cannot think of a better way to start my day.

Who knew that Calvin even read the book, The DaVinci Code?  For those of you unfamiliar with this 21st century bestseller, there are attacks as to the authority of Scripture in this work of fiction.  I point out that it is just a work of fiction because so many people use it as a source for attacking the authority of Scripture.

In the first section for today, Calvin assures the reader that Scripture gets its authority from God alone.  Scripture does not rely on the church for authority.  We are to treat the Scriptures as they are - the Word of God.  He writes, "Hence the Scriptures obtain full authority among believers only when men regard them as having sprung from heaven, as if the living words of God were heard."  The Catholic church was teaching at the time that it was the church who gave authority to the Scriptures.  In Calvin's response, he wrote, "As if the eternal and inviolable truth of God depended upon the decision of men."  He goes on to write that people mock the Holy Spirit when they as questions like, "Who can convince us that these writings came from God?  Who can assure us that Scripture has come down whole and intact even to our very day?" and more.  He concludes this section by stating "Again, to what mockeries of the impious is our faith subjected, into what suspicion has it fallen among all men, if we believe that it has a precarious authority dependent solely upon the good pleasure of men!"

So first he argues that the church does not have authority over Scripture.  In this next section, he makes the case that in fact the church is grounded upon the Scriptures.  Part of his case comes from Ephesians 2:19-20.  "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (NIV).  Calvin writes about this passage, "For if the Christian church was from the beginning founded upon the writings of the prophets and the preaching of the apostles, wherever this doctrine is found, the acceptance of it - without which the church itself would never have existed - must certainly have preceded the church."  Later he continues, "But because the church recognizes Scripture to be the truth of its own God, as a pious duty it unhesitatingly venerates Scripture."

The final section of this morning has to do with a writing from St. Augustine.  Apparently, there were those who took one of Augustine's writings out of context and twisted it so that it appeared as if Augustine believed that the church had authority over Scripture.  Calvin put the passage into context and then cited other examples of Augustine's belief of the authority of Scripture.

I love how Calvin truly believes in Scripture.  His faith is strong.  There is a line at the end of the second section that demonstrates his faith.  "Scripture exhibits fully as clear evidence its own truth, as white and black things do of their color, or sweet and bitter things do of their taste."  As we study Scripture, we cannot help but realize that there is no other explanation than Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit, written down by about forty authors over 1500 years in three languages on three continents but still maintains a singular message: God is love and wants his people to be in his presence forever.


  1. Too bad that the bible doesn't say that It is the sole source of Authority. In fact it says the opposite. But I don't expect you to see this, considering you admire a man like Calvin.

  2. Those with the authority to interpret the Bible are those that wrote it and put it together. Ooops, that wouldn't be you nor Calvin. But better for society that you continue in your heretical beliefs than that you turn into an atheist I suppose.


Presbyterian Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf