Schaaf and Calvin

I was struck when reading a portion of Philip Schaaf’s The Principle of Protestantism. Schaaf defends the Protestant view of Justification by quoting a section of Calvin’s dispute with Osiander in the Institutes.[1] Osiander’s poses the following question: “…whether God leaves as they were by nature those whom he justifies, changing none of their vices.” Calvin responds with confidence: “This is exceedingly easy to answer: as Christ cannot be torn into parts, so these two which we perceive in him together and conjointly are inseparable–namely, righteousness (justification)[2] and sanctification.” Though Calvin concludes that “there is in justification no place for works,” nevertheless, Calvin is not in any way concerned with separating both acts of God’s free grace.

It seems that Calvin’s response in this matter is similar to his critique of Luther’s view of the sacraments, whereby, Christ is ubiquitous in the Eucharist. Since Christ cannot be torn and be “with, in, and under” the bread and wine, in the same manner, it is impossible to sharply divide his graces.


[1] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. I. Ed. John McNeill. Louisville, KT. Westminster John Knox Press, 732.

[2] Schaaf’s translation uses “justification.” Is this a faulty translation? If so, is there a distinction between “righteousness” and “justification?”

Advertisements

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Calvin/Calvinism. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s