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Calvins View of the Biblical Doctrine of the Fall of Man, Resistence to Tyrannical Government and argument for Limited Governmen - Essay Example

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Exploring John Calvin’s Views on the Doctrinal Downfall of Man and the Need for a Civil Government Insert Name here Subject – Section November 13, 2011 Table of Contents I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………
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Calvins View of the Biblical Doctrine of the Fall of Man, Resistence to Tyrannical Government and argument for Limited Governmen
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Download file to see previous pages Irresistible Grace…………………………………………………………………………..5 D. Perseverance of the Saints……………………………………………………………….. 6 E. Limited Atonement ……………………………………………………………………… 6 III. Christian Community and the Christian Government …………………………………… 7 - 9 IV. Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………9 Introduction The Reformation was a religious movement intended to rectify the teachings of the Catholic Church on human salvation. It abolished the systematized view on attaining salvation by emphasizing on human faith alone. Thus, for the Reformists, it is enough for man to believe in order to be saved. One of the most influential theologians during the Reformation period was John Calvin. Claimed by many as the founder of Calvinism, he shared some definitive teachings on the nature of man and on the significance of a Christian community. His lectures greatly contributed in the establishment of some religious and socio-political ideologies of today. In this light, we will examine the teachings of John Calvin by highlighting on two important aspects: firstly, his view on the nature of man in relation to the divine intellect; and secondly; his notion of the ideal socio-political community. I. Human Sin and Salvation All of the teachings of John Calvin are grounded on his unique conception of human nature, which according to him, is corrupt and wicked. 1 As underscored in most of works, the spiritual downfall of man was caused by the sin of Adam and Eve. As a result of this sin, man became spiritually dead. Thus, John Calvin believes that the spiritual downfall of man has made him unworthy to go to heaven, thus, he has to be essentially chosen by God to be saved. The choice, however, depends not on his actions on earth but on the destiny that has been arbitrarily assigned to him by God. In this light, the salvation of man rests heavily on the arbitrary and preordained judgment of God, for He has the right, the power, and the wisdom to do whatever he pleases. This sets forth the central tenet of Calvinism, which is predestination. The catechism of Calvinism is summarized into Five Points (Christ Covenant Sunday School 2009). An examination of each point will help elucidate some of the key issues related to Calvinism: firstly, the inherent nature of sin in relation to the work of Satan; secondly, the justification for the selection of the Elect; and lastly, Calvary and notion of limited atonement. 1. Total Depravity As described earlier, the whole being of man has been tainted by sin—his body, soul, intellect, will, and emotions. And because of this, man has lost his direct relation to God. Sin is deemed to be the activity of Satan. According to the bible, Satan is a fallen angel who lost his status due to perversion. His rebellion to God caused him to become the irreconcilable enemy of God. It can be stated, moreover, that Satan’s nature is marked by lies.2 His basic strategy of falsehood is intended not only to injure God, but also to destroy man. According to Calvin, however, the fall of man is his own responsibility. Although the conception of sin is formed by Satan, it is man that ultimately executed the act. As a result, man now bears the image of Satan and is now ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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