Tag: Calvinism


Did Calvin Deny Christ’s Sinlessness?

Duccio di Buoninsegna, Agony in the Garden (detail) (1310)
John Calvin taught that concupiscence, our post-Fall inclination towards sin, was itself sinful. He went so far as to say that man was only concupiscence. These views don't square well with the Incarnation, the idea that Jesus Christ became fully man, but without sinning. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that Calvin's views led him to functionally deny Christ's sinlessness, particularly at the moment when He was at prayer in the Garden. The broader question: was Calvin's heresy in spite of his Reformed theology, or because of it?

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Faith Alone v. Forgiving Trespasses: How the Lord’s Prayer Contradicts the Reformation

Lines from the Lord’s Prayer, in various languages.From the Eucharist Door at the Glory Facade of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. It’s Lent in Rome. That means it’s time for one of the great Roman traditions: station churches. Each morning, English-speaking pilgrims walk to a different church for Mass. This morning, on the way to […]

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Does God Hate Sinners?

Pompeo Batoni, Sacred Heart of Jesus (1767) Does God hate sinners? There’s a notorious Baptist group based out of Topeka, Kansas, that claims that He does: and specifically, that He hates homosexuals. They’re a radical fringe even amongst Baptist Calvinists, and other Calvinists have sought to distance themselves from them. But many of those doing […]

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Reason #8 to Reject the Reformation: Heterodoxy

While not all of the causes of the Protestant Reformation were theological, some of them undoubtedly were. So St. Edmund Campion, in the eighth of his Ten Reasons against the Reformation, addressed some of these. Specifically, he considers certain “impossible positions” that the Reformers held “on God, on Christ, on Man, on Sin, on Justice, on Sacraments, [and] on […]

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Four Surprising Facts About John Calvin and the “Apocrypha”

One of the major issues dividing Catholics and Protestants is the Bible. Catholic Bibles have seven Books that Protestants reject: Protestants call these Books “the Apocrypha,” while Catholics call them “the Deuterocanon.” This dispute matters, because it’s hard to agree on what Scripture says if we can’t even agree on what Scripture is, on which Books are […]

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Three Major Arguments Against “Assurance of Salvation”

I am frequently asked by Protestants why we Catholics don’t teach “assurance of salvation,” the belief that those who are currently saved are guaranteed ultimate salvation, no matter what. Someone cannot be temporarily saved and ultimately damned. Calvinists and many Evangelicals affirm this doctrine (under different names: assurance of salvation, perseverance of the Saints, “Once Saved, […]

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Good Friday: A Superabundant Atonement (Part I)

Guest author Matthew Nagle How does Christ’s death on the Cross save us from our sins?Several months ago, I wrote a piece arguing for the Catholic “satisfaction” understanding of the Atonement (in which Christ lovingly pays for our debt) and argued against the Calvinist “penal substitution” model (in which the Father pours out His wrath […]

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Perseverance of the Saints v. the Great Apostasy: Calvinism’s Internal Contradiction

Calvinism affirms two critical doctrines that are in apparent contradiction with one another. On the one hand, Calvinists claim that nobody falls permanently away from the faith. On the other hand, they claim that the entire Church fell away from the faith for generations, and that the Divinely-ordained Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was destroyed, […]

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