One of the reasons why I appreciate John Calvin (1509 – 1564) is his insistence upon the central importance of Scripture. The bulk of Calvin’s work consists of sermons and biblical commentaries. Even in his Institutes, his goal was not to produce a logically consistent systematizing of doctrine, so much as to “prepare and instruct candidates in sacred theology for the reading of the divine Word, in order that they may be able both to have easy access to it and to advance in it without stumbling.” Calvin was happy to leave speculation to the philosopher; theologians, however, were to remain anchored in the Bible.
In preparation for our study Christian Thought through the Centuries starting on January 1, we will see the extent to which the principle of Bible-centeredness was observed by the Church. In the meantime, let us step into the New Year resolved to live as people of the Book, even as Paul describes in 2 Tim 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, that the man [and woman] of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
1. Inst. 1.2.2.