The name John Calvin is a bad word to many people, but I hope to show you that Calvin’s theology should be our theology because it was Jesus’ theology and the Bible’s theology.
John Calvin lived in the 1500’s in Geneva, Switzerland.
He was and is one of the hero’s of the Christian faith. He was one the greatest Christian thinkers, theologians and reformers who guided the church back to the Bible after it was immersed in superstition.
Calvin is still massively influential today, and either loved or hated. Depending on your worldview, you will either gratefully read Calvin’s writings and benefit from them or you will despise them.
In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul describes the Ephesian believers’ hopeless condition before they had come to experience the power of God in Christ Jesus which had transformed their lives – this of course is true for all believers. According to the Paul they were (spiritually) “dead”, which figuratively describes the state of being lost or under the dominion of death and also denotes an inability to communicate with the living God.
This condition was due to their “transgression and sins” and therefore the recipients needed to be made “alive” (2:5) in Christ. Ephesians 2:1-10 can therefore be described as a continuation and application of the theme of the power of God’s actions in Christ. Before God had made the believers alive in Christ, the believers were influenced by the environment (“the age of this world”, 2:2), by a supernaturally powerful opponent (“the ruler of the realm of the air”, 2:2) and by an inner inclination towards evil (“in the desires of our flesh”, 2:3). Of particular interest to my series of posts is the second influence mentioned above.
A few years ago a family in our church was robbed at gunpoint. Three armed man confronted the husband in his own garage. The gunmen entered the home and made the family sit down as they rummaged through the house taking anything of value. Thankfully they left the family physically unharmed as they made off with their car – packed full with stolen goods. What are we to think as Christians? Where was God? Doesn’t God protect his people? Should we think about immigrating? Why doesn’t God just vapourise all criminals? Should we remain positive about the future of South Africa? Continue reading A Christian response to Crime