Last week the Foundation conducted a seminar at Princeton Theological Seminary for elders eager to study the Christian faith. The topic was "Who Is Jesus Christ for Us Today?" And one of the readings was John Calvin's writing on the Apostles' Creed.
There we came across the following paragraph about the various struggles of the church to articulate the doctrines of the Incarnation and of the Trinity. It occurred to us that Calvin's stated intention here might make a good articulation of the educational goals of the Foundation:
Now Satan, wishing completely to destroy faith from the root up, has always caused great troubles, partly about the divinity of Jesus Christ, partly about the distinction of persons in God, and in practically every age he has incited evil spirits who have disquieted the faithful with these disputes, seeking even to overturn all the scripture. Therefore it seems to me that it would be good to begin the explanation of the creed with this point. However, because I have decided to instruct those who make themselves teachable rather than to fight against the rebels, I will not make a long argument such as the importance of the case would well require, but I will content myself with showing what we much follow or flee in this matter, so that nevertheless the truth may be upheld against the slanders of the wicked. This is because, as I have said, my chief concern is directed to the goal of instructing in true and sure teaching those who are willing to obey the truth.
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1541 French Edition, the First English Version, translated by Elsie Anne McKee (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), p. 199, emphasis added.
Thus the questions are raised: Are we teachable? Are we willing to learn from the Scriptures and from our mothers and fathers in the faith? Are we willing to obey the truth?
If so, help is available in the classic texts of Reformed theology. To see the Foundation's suggested readings on various theological topics, please click on this link:
Thank you for your ongoing interest, encouragement, and support of the mission and work of the Foundation.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive
Foundation for Reformed Theology
4103 Monument Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23230
Better Preaching, Teaching, and Pastoral Care