Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mishandling Scripture

Our Arminian friend keeps himself right in saying "some Calvinists" because, doubtless, some zealous brother somewhere or other does steps over the mark and deserves criticism. But then, such may be said of those from every doctrinal school. Including Arminians.

It is worth pointing out though that probably the most used and favourite Bible commentators among Christians of all schools are the Calvinistic ones. Matthew Henry springs to mind as an all round favourite. All Five Points of Calvinism are found within his commentary. John Wesley admitted to editing out the doctrine of Particular Redemption in his reprint. (At least, he was honest enough to say so. Which cannot be said of the Sword of the Lord crowd who tried to sneak the Calvinism out of Spurgeon's sermons) Matthew Poole is another well used and favourite Calvinist commentator, and while we must (alas) place both Albert Barnes and Bishop JC Ryle among the 4 pointers, yet they were sound on these points. Perhaps the commentaries of Charles Hodge might not be as widespread, but they are noted for their careful exegesis of God's word. Those of Joseph Alexander also must be mentioned in this regard too. And there are many others.

John Calvin's own commentaries drew the following high praise from Arminius

"Next to the study of the Scriptures which I earnestly inculcate, I exhort my pupils to peruse Calvin's Commentaries, which I extol in loftier terms than Helmich himself (a Dutch divine, 1551-1608]; for I affirm that he excels beyond comparison (incomparabilem esse) in the interpretation of Scripture, and that his commentaries ought to be more highly valued than all that is handed down to us by the library of the fathers; so that I acknowledge him to have possessed above most others, or rather above all other men, what may be called an eminent spirit of prophecy (spiritum aliquem prophetiae eximium). His Institutes ought to be studied after the [Heidelberg] Catechism, as containing a fuller explanation, but with discrimination (cum delectu), like the writings of all men"(History of Christian Church - Ch VIII).

Just thought it was worth pointing out. Might also be worth pointing out (especially if I have tramped on someone's Arminian toes) that I have John Wesley's and Adam Clarke's commentaries ever at hand (e-sword). Always worth looking at, even if I sometimes disagree with their conclusions. It is always good to have an all round library within the Evangelical framework. However, I stand over my original comment that probably the most used and favourite Bible commentators are the Calvinistic ones.

* Help! My pastor's library is full of Calvinist books!
* Paul Chappell's book list:
* Read Bishop Ryle's Books   
* Charles Hodge sermons  


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