Penetrate the Heart

As the outward voice of man cannot at all penetrate the heart, it is in the free and sovereign determination of God to give the profitable use of the signs to whom He pleases.

Nam quod ad sacramenta in genere spectat, neque illis gratiam Dei alligamus, neque ad ea transferimus spiritus sancti officium aut virtutem, neque in ipsis locamus salutis fiduciam. Diserte enim profitemur solum Deum esse qui agit per sacramenta, et tam efficaciam spiritui sancto ferimus acceptam.

 

Calvin, C.R. 9:25; Ronald Wallace HT Calvin's Doctrine of Word and Sacrament, p. 170.

2nd Commandment

It seems likely that the idols in view here are not those of pagan gods (the first commandment has proscribed them from Israel's worship), but representations of Yahweh himself. That was how surrounding nations depicted their gods, but such a theology had no place in the worship of Israel because it represented a fundamental confusion of the creation with the Creator.

...

Far from being a help to worship, the idol sets up an insurmountable barrier to the refinement of human perception of what is spiritual.

 

John Mackay, Exodus, p. 344-345

Sinners

Many people don't think of themselves as sinners worthy of judgment. But if you commit just three sins per day-if you are irreverent, dishonest, malicious, lustful, or covetous just three times in a day-and the great majority of us break God's law in thought or deed at least that many times in a hour! you will commit more than a thousand sins per year. If you live for seventy-five years, as many of us will, when you die you will arrive in God's court with seventy-five thousand sins to be dealt with. How would a human judge respond to a criminal with seventy-five thousand violations of the civil law? Surely he would impose the maximum penalty! God hates sin more than any human judge, and He has decreed that the "wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). How important it is, then, that we find a way to deal with our sin before appearing before God's judgment.

 

Richard D Phillips. Jesus the Evangelist (p. 138).

Sacramental Presumption

When I baptise, is it as if I had the Holy Ghost up my sleeve to produce at any time? or the body and blood of the Lord to offer to whom I please? It would be sheer presumption to seek to attribute to mortal creatures what belongs to Jesus Christ.

 

Calvin, Sermon on Acts 1:4-5 Ronald Wallace HT Calvin's Doctrine of Word and Sacrament, p. 172.

Junius' Christological Framework of Revelation and Ad Extra

This christological framework is unmistakably present as Junius makes the point that the theology of union in Christ is the principle of the two other forms of ectypal theology—the theology of vision and revelation. Whereas archetypal theology is the matrix of all forms of theology, the theology of union is the mother (mater) of the two other forms of ectypal theology, that is, the theology of vision and revealed theology.

...

The conclusion seems to be justified that in True Theology Christology undergirds the presuppositions and approach to the nature of true theology.

...

The use of the archetypal/ectypal distinction and the crucial significance of the theology of union in its relation to the two other forms of ectypal theology was, for the Reformed orthodox, a means of developing the principles and task of theology, a discipline to be determined by a strong Trinitarian and christological framework.

...

 


What Is Salvation?

Salvation is how God glorifies himself in Jesus Christ. It is about God. And when you encounter...anybody who is promoting a perspective primarily based on what man does, not upon what God does to glorify himself, just move on... Because fundamentally they have abandond the central aspect of devine revelation to begin with.

 

James White

Calvinism vs. Determinism

when we enter the world of seventeenth-century theological debate, it is the purportedly predestinarian Reformed who take up the defense of human free choice and secondary causality against the more deterministic tendencies of Cartesian metaphysics, specifically the occasionalist conclusion, resting on a conception of necessary divine concursus, that God is the sole cause of all motion in the universe.

 

Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 1: Prolegomena to Theology , 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 128–129.

Grace for Finitude, not merely Fallenness (e.g. pre-fall grace)

Divine grace, as indicated both in the doctrine of the divine attributes and in the developing Reformed covenant theology of the seventeenth century, is not merely the outward favor of God toward the elect, evident only in the post-lapsarian dispensation of salvation; rather is it one of the perfections of the divine nature. It is a characteristic of God’s relations to the finite order, apart from sin, in the act of divine condescension to relate to finite creatures 1.


1
There is, both in the orthodox Reformed doctrine of God and in the orthodox Reformed covenant theology of the seventeenth century, a consistent identification of grace as fundamental to all of God’s relationships with the world and especially with human beings, to the point of the consistent assertion that the covenant of nature or works is itself gracious...There is no substance to the repeated assertion of J. B. Torrance that the Reformed notion of the covenant of works undermines the notion of the priority of grace or indeed the graciousness even of the divine law
 

Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy; Volume 3: The Divine Essence and Attributes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 570.

Judge by theology, not by terms or creeds, lest we throw Calvin under the bus

Viret refuted all his quirks and calumnies with so much cleverness, that being manifestly detected, he might be considered as convicted upon this point. That he might, therefore, appear to have got the better of us in something or other, he accused the whole meeting of Arianism. I rose up immediately and brought forward the confession in our Catechism, which is repeated in our public letter to your college. Even this did not quiet him, but he declared that we would be suspected in that matter, until we subscribed the creed of Athanasius. I replied, that it was not my practice to approve any thing as the words of God, unless upon due consideration. Here observe the rabid fury of the little ass. Thereupon he cried out, that it was an expression unbecoming a Christian man.

 

Letters of John Calvin, To Megander, Geneva, February 1537

On Theonomic Postmillenialism

In thus postulating the termination of the common grace order before the consummation, Chalcedon's postmillennialism in effect attributes unfaithfulness to God, for God committed himself in his ancient covenant to maintain that order as long as the earth endures.

 

Meredith Kline, Comments on an Old-New Error, WTJ 41