If he propounded that …

There’s something to be learned from just about anyone.  I know enough, second- and seventh-hand, about the Pope and Romish religion to know I want nothing to do with him or it, and I ardently want to keep others from him and it.  Still, there are probably some things I can learn from the current Pope.  (I capitalize in deference to English language standards and not to the Roman institution.)

I probably have less grasp of the place and work of John Calvin, but I have grown to distrust anything associated with this man’s (or any other’s) name, mainly because of certain extremes he and his progeny espouse.  Still, there are some things I can learn from him.  In this case, I suspect, a bunch more than in the case of the Pope!

If John Calvin was half the exegete people seem to think he was, I can learn from him.  Below is a statement by partly Calvinist author Moises Silva, who teaches in a Calvinist institution.  This comes in the context of Calvin’s hermeneutics:

It is all too easy to become mesmerized either by exegetical problems or by perceived devotional needs; in both cases, we allow the central and simple message of the text to recede into the background.  If, however, we keep in mind that no motive is more important than the edification of the church–the basis for which is God’s own teaching and not our imagination–our efforts will remain focused on the historical meaning intended by the biblical text.  “The Case for Calvinistic Hermeneutics,” in An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics, p. 254

If that was a focus for Calvin . . . if he indeed propounded focusing on historical meaning intended by the biblical text, well, then, insofar as he did that, I’m for him!


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