Calvin’s Preposterous Presumption

John Calvin demonstrating his belief that Romans 10:14, 17 is ordinarily true:

“His [Servetus–CD] third point is, That all who believe not in the Son remain in death, the wrath of God abideth on them (John 3:36); and, therefore, infants who are unable to believe lie under condemnation. I answer, that Christ does not there speak of the general guilt in which all the posterity of Adam are involved, but only threatens the despisers of the gospel, who proudly and contumaciously spurn the grace which is offered to them. … Servetus afterwards adds, that no man becomes our brother unless by the Spirit of adoption, who is only conferred by the hearing of faith. I answer, that he always falls back into the same paralogism, because he preposterously applies to infants what is said only of adults. Paul there teaches that the ordinary way in which God calls his elect, and brings them to the faith, is by raising up faithful teachers, and thus stretching out his hand to them by their ministry and labors. Who will presume from this to give the law to God, and say that he may not engraft infants into Christ by some other secret method?” (John Calvin, Institutes, 4.16.31; underlining mine–CD)

Calvin makes exceptions to the Romans 1:16 rule, and completely undercuts and vitiates Paul’s argument in Romans 10:14. This appears to be the pernicious part and parcel of the rich Reformed Tradition.

Advertisements