Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More on Statues, Calvin, and Probability of Being Correct

After reading my last post, Sam had more to say.

Though I too would commend the removal of Mary's statues in the church, I think John Calvin was against it because it was someone else's property that was being destroyed. If the whole church had become protestant and removed the figurines, then he would have been for it but he was not for destruction others property.

//"being wrong makes him more suspect to being incorrect in other areas."//
May be true, though I highly doubt that there are too many people in history with whom you agree entirely. I suppose you are going to start listing all the people in which you have found no fault as of yet and that is fine. I would enjoy browsing the list.

No; other than Jesus I don't really know of anyone with whom I would agree with entirely. On some point or another I disagree with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin, Wesley, Augustine, Constantine, Pelagius, Arminius, and pretty much anyone else you could name. However, I think that Pelagius, for instance, was much further in the wrong than Arminius.

In the same way I think Calvin was very wrong on this issue, and many others. His quote of the ideal church being "four bare walls and a sermon" is exactly in character from what I've read of Calvin and fits snugly with a lot of the other things I've heard that he has said.

I do suggest reading about Calvin's rule of Geneva here and here. Calvin was a stringent dictator who despised any sort of merriment and enforced harsh rules. Everyone was examined by his pious police to see whether they were conducting themselves the right way, and questioned if they missed one of Calvin's sermons. A female hairdresser was imprisoned for two days for giving a bad haircut. Calvin got the police to side with him doctrinally and banished anyone who dared question his Institutes. When one man questioned part of Calvin's sermon, Calvin made him march all around the city and beg forgiveness at every street corner. Additionally, at risk of sounding cliche with this oft-repeated sentiment, Calvin was complicit in the murder of Michael Servetus, and executions were common in Geneva.

All in all, although Calvin did have some good exegesis here and there, I think he was quite questionable. Boyd's quote from Calvin reinforced this idea, and I simply think that Calvin's almost paranormal display of wrong-ness certainly renders any of his ideas suspect.

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