Westminster Seminary California
 
 

Valiant for Truth

Posts by: R. Scott Clark


Calvin as Theologian of Consolation, Part 5
R. Scott Clark

In part one of this series we considered Calvin’s interpretation of several biblical passages on consolation. In part two we looked at how he harvested a theology of consolation from his exegetical work. In part three we examined what he wrote in his Institutes on consolation, and in part four consolation in pastoral ministry. In this section we will analyze how Calvin preached the biblical doctrine of consolation to his congregation.

 
 
 
Calvin as Theologian of Consolation, Part 4
R. Scott Clark

For Calvin, Christian consolation is not only a theological reality but it is also the result of good pastoral practice. Christians often fail to appropriate the consolation they might have because they don’t humble themselves to confess their sins to one another.

 
 
 
Calvin as Theologian of Consolation, Part 3
R. Scott Clark

In the previous installment we looked at the way Calvin read Paul’s epistles and how he drew from them a doctrine of consolation, of God’s presence with his people in Christ, by the Spirit, in the gospel, in the sacraments, and in prayer. In this (third) part of this series we consider Calvin as a theologian of consolation.

 
 
 
Calvin as Theologian of Consolation, Part 2
R. Scott Clark

In the first part we saw that Calvin was a pilgrim who himself needed the consolation of the gospel, given by the Spirit, through the ministry of Word, sacrament, and prayer. He was also a careful, thoughtful, and sophisticated reader of texts and principally Scripture.

 
 
 
Calvin as Theologian of Consolation, Part 1
R. Scott Clark

Wikipedia, that ubiquitous source of unimpeachable scholarship, defines “consolation” as “something of value, when one fails to get something of higher value....” That is precisely the opposite of what John Calvin (1509–64) meant by “consolation.”For Calvin, the consolation that Christ gives to his people, by the gospel, through the Spirit, is not second prize but to be valued above that which we lost. When we consider Calvin, “consolation” might not be the thing we first associate with him.