Calvin: Reformed Churches and Ministry Founded on Luther

We maintain to start with that, when God raised up Luther and others, who held forth a torch to light us into the way of salvation on on whose ministry our churches are founded and built, those heads of doctrine in which the truth of our religion, those in which the pure and legitimate worship of God, and those in which the salvation of man are comprehended, were in a great measure obsolete.

—John Calvin, from his Supplex Exhortatio (1543; The Necessity of Reforming the Church) written at the request of Martin Bucer and written for Charles V and the Diet of Spire to clarify the state of the question between the Protestants and Rome.

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One comment

  1. Calvin’s use of the word “obsolete” is striking! It hits the nail on the head! Men thought they knew better than God and could add to Scripture the traditions of men. It raises the question: is the motive behind much of the FV controversy today simply that reformational confessionalism is obsolete and we need to move beyond it by coming up with original contributions? Makes me think of the comment by Thomas Oden about the dream he had where an angel showed him his tombstone whose epitaph gave him the high praise, “he never had an original thought.” Our calling is to be humble servants of the Word. Our derivitive originality is to the praise of God’s glory when we humbly rightly divide the Word of truth – 2 Tim. 2:15 – in accurate practical application to our times and current issues.

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