Written against Caner and Lumpkins?

"The only confession which they want is a rejection of all inquiry, and an obstinate defence of any random fiction which may have fallen from them. It is perfectly obvious, though the devil has fascinated their minds in a fearful manner, that it is pride more than error that makes them so pertinacious in assailing our doctrine.

As he pretends that he is an advocate of the Church, and in order to deceive the simple by fallacious masks, is ever and anon arrogating to himself the common character of all who teach rightly, I should like to know who authorized him to assume this office."

 

Calvin against Heshusius and Westphal

Yahweh is the second person of the Trinity

Yahweh is, in fact, the second person of the Trinity, who became incarnate. As such, he is self-existent, as are the Father and the Spirit. Because God is self-existent, each person of the Godhead is.

 

Scott Oliphint (2011-11-02). God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God (Kindle Locations 5323-5325). Crossway.

Names and the Nature of God

The names of God reveal to us something of the nature or essence of God. They cannot reveal this nature fully, but they nevertheless are expressive of something of that nature.

 

Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

Unified Knowledge

The unity and organic character of our personality demands that we have unified knowledge as the basis of our action. If we do not pay attention to the whole of biblical truth as a system, we become doctrinally one-sided, and doctrinal one-sidedness is bound to issue in spiritual one-sidedness. As human beings we are naturally inclined to be one-sided. One tends to be intellectualistic, another tends to be emotional, and still another tends to be activistic. One tends to be only prophetic, another only priest, and a third only king. We should be all these at once and in harmony. A study of systematic theology will help us to keep and develop our spiritual balance. It enables us to avoid paying attention only to that which, by virtue of our temperament, appeals to us.

 

Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

Types and AntiTypes

The bond that holds type and antitype together must be a bond of vital continuity in the progress of redemption. Where this is ignored, and in the place of this bond are put accidental resemblances, void of inherent spiritual significance, all sorts of absurdities will result, such as must bring the whole subject of typology into disrepute. Examples of this are : the scarlet cord of Rahab prefigures the blood of Christ; the four lepers at Samaria, the four Evangelists.

 

Geergardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 146

Calvin on Preaching

Faith then is by hearing, &c. We see by this conclusion what Paul had in view by the gradation which he formed; it was to show, that wherever faith is, God has there already given an evidence of his election; and then, that he, by pouring his blessing on the ministration of the gospel, to illuminate the minds of men by faith, and thereby to lead them to call on his name, had thus testified, that the Gentiles were admitted by him into a participation of the eternal inheritance.

And this is a remarkable passage with regard to the efficacy of preaching; for he testifies, that by it faith is produced. He had indeed before declared, that of itself it is of no avail; but that when it pleases the Lord to work, it becomes the instrument of his power. And indeed the voice of man can by no means penetrate into the soul; and mortal man would be too much exalted, were he said to have the power to regenerate us; the light also of faith is something sublimer than what can be conveyed by man: but all these things are no hindrances, that God should not work effectually through the voice of man, so as to create faith in us through his ministry.

It must be further noticed, that faith is grounded on nothing else but the truth of God; for Paul does not teach us that faith springs from any other kind of doctrine, but he expressly restricts it to the word of God; and this restriction would have been improper if faith could rest on the decrees of men. Away then with all the devices of men when we speak of the certainty of faith. Hence also the Papal conceit respecting implicit faith falls to the ground, because it tears away faith from the word; and more detestable still is that blasphemy, that the truth of the word remains suspended until the authority of the Church establishes it.

 

John Calvin, Commentary on Romans 10:17

Personality is More Than An Adjective

He is one person. When we say that we believe in a personal God, we do not merely mean that we believe in a God to whom the adjective “personality” may be attached. God is not an essence that has personality; He is absolute personality.

 

Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, p.364

Calvin on Purposeless Evil

Meantime, you hesitate not to vomit forth your profane and abhorrent opinion that God is worse than any wolf, who thus wills to create men to misery. Some men, be it remembered, are born blind, some deaf, some dumb, some of monstrous deformity. Now, if we are to go by your opinion as the judge in these sacred and deep matters, God is also cruel, because He afflicts His offspring with such evils as these, and that, too, before they have seen the light.

 

John Calvin and Henry Cole, Calvin’s Calvinism: A Defence of the Secret Providence of God (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 50.

Summary of Calvin's Teaching

What is latent in the commentary is often made patent in the sermons, which in turn had an effect on Calvin’s more systematic presentation in the Institutes.

 

Lee Gatiss, “The Inexhaustible Fountain of All Good Things: Union with Christ in Calvin on Ephesians,” Themelios: Volume 34, No. 2, July 2009, 2009, 206.

Systematic Thinking

It is a God-given duty that we should take the content of Scripture and bring it together into a systematic whole. It is plain that we are required to know the revelation that God has given us. Yet we would not adequately know that revelation if we knew it only in its several parts without bringing these parts into relation to each other. It is only as a part of the whole of the revelation of God to us that each part of that revelation appears as it is really meant to appear. Our minds must think systematically. It is with our God-created minds, which must think systematically, that we must rework the content of revelation.

 

Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).