Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Christocentric Calvin

Although not part of the reading proper, the Introduction has some helpful material for setting a structure for reading through the Institutes. So often Calvin is pigeon-holed into a mold that seems to present him as only concerned with predestination and election. The following quote from the Introduction, is a great corrective for this, and a great reminder on just how we are to be reading the Word of God:

...for Calvin the Bible is the believer's infallible book of truth when it is read under the direction of the Spirit. Furthermore, Holy Scripture has its organizing principle in the revelation of Christ, and has its chief office in enabling us to appropriate the life-giving grace of Christ. "The Scriptures are to be read," says Calvin in his Commentary on John's Gospel, "with the purpose of finding Christ there." It is important to realize that the focal point of the Institutes is not found in God's sovereignty, or in predestination, or in insistence on obedience to God's Word itself, apart from constant reference to Jesus Christ, whom the written Word makes known. (p. lvi)