Tag: Calvinism


(Why You Can’t Have) Jesus Without the Church

Head of Saint John the Baptist (17th c.)
Contemporary Christianity is fond of pushing Jesus without the Church. Like its secular counterpart (in which people claim to be "spiritual, but not religious"), it's an attempt to have the relationship without the rules. If I'm lonely or going through a tragedy, I can pray, but I don't have to worry about fasting when I don't want to, or being associated with a bunch of fellow believers that I look down upon. But Jesus-without-the-Church is a rejection of Jesus.

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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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