Calvin's Institutes Chapter 5a

April 24, 2020

I am playing catchup right now. Hopefully we can still have some good discussion.

  • This is the first time I recall coming across the word "vivification" (296). Was this new for anybody else?
  • I thought Calvin's two types of repentance, legal & evangelical, was insightful (297), and I appreciated his formal definition of repentance as well (298). I still find it interesting that he very quickly moves from matters of Salvation to matters of "Christian" living. He seems to bounce back and forth between the two in his writing. I also find it striking and worth pondering more when he uses references to national Israel in matters of personal walk. I am not saying we should treat the topics totally different, it is just something to think about along with the fact that of his replacement theology.
  • I am wondering if someone can set me straight here. When Calvin refers to repentance in response to the thought of God's judgement (299), I understand that is a legitimate aspect for the unsaved to consider. However, this seems much more muddled to me than that. He is referring to National Israel here as an example. So, is he talking about repentance to salvation? Repentance in the Christian walk? Which judgement does he have in mind? Great White Throne? The Bema? I think there needs to be clarity on this; but, that is why I am asking you to set me straight. It seems to me that the topic of repentance takes on different nuances in matters of judgement, fear and condemnation depending on whether you are a Christian or not.
  • I thought it was supremely funny that Calvin called his book a "small book!" In fact, the whole section is worth repeating: " I do not propose to investigate everything, for that would be to make this small book, which I would like to keep short, excessively long." (305).
  • "[James] combines mutual prayer with mutual confession." (310). I love Calvin's synopsis of James 5:16 here.
  • This was my first experience with the word auricular (312). How about anybody else?
  • "We will then outline the forms of confession devised by our opponents - not all of them, for who could drain so vast a sea?" (313). I was not aware there were so many views on this topic. Anybody have perspective here?
  • "I no longer wish to make excuses or to avoid being judged by men a sinner. I no longer seek to hide from them what I also sought to hide from God." (314). This was a wonderful way of explaining King David's confession in 2 Sam. 12:13!
  • I find Calvin's point that pastors are more suited to anyone else to go to for confession of sin slightly curious. I do agree to his point that they might be better equipped to help the person. I just feel like he might be diminishing the value of a church body here. Thoughts?
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