Reading Report: Calvin's Institutes Chapter 4b (233-263)

March 25, 2020

Well, I have skipped doing reports for the last few weeks. I am now going to get back into the swing of doing reports. Part of the value of doing them is the conversation they generate. Another part is for me to look back and be reminded.

Calvin shared some thoughts that I don't know that I had thought deeply on before.

  • "If it can be fairly argued that Jesus Christ began to be God's Son when he was conceived in the Virgin's womb..." (236).
  • "If thieves had cut [Jesus'] throat, if he had been murdered in an affray by the hands of individuals, there would have been to semblance of satisfaction in such a death." (246).
  • "The cross was accursed not only in the opinion of men but by decree of God's law (Deut. 21:23)." (247).

I appreciated Calvin's analogy between Christ's two natures and that of what is found in human beings: "An appropriate analogy suggesting something of this mystery may be found in man, who we know is made up of two elements, neither of which is so mixed with the other as not to retain its own quality." (241).

I want to study up a lot more on the Nestorian Christians. They show up a lot in China's and India's histories (Footnote 31 on page 244).

On the interpretations of Jesus descending into hell (249-252), I remember studying this in undergrad and drawing the conclusion that I didn't think that Jesus literally did this. However, I don't think I have studied this deeply since then. Anybody have a succinct thought to share?

When Calvin talks about Jesus coming to judge the living in the dead, it seems to me he is very muddled. Could this be because of his eschatology? Or, perhaps I was muddled as I read it!? Thoughts?

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