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Calvin at the Centre$
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Paul Helm

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532186

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532186.001.0001

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Scripture, Reason, and Grace

Scripture, Reason, and Grace

(p.64) 3 Scripture, Reason, and Grace
Calvin at the Centre

Paul Helm

Oxford University Press

The authority of Scripture is fundamental to Calvin's theology. This chapter explores the tension between the pneumatic and the rational aspects of his doctrine, after comparing his view and that of Aquinas. There are two case studies of the way Calvin's doctrine was received. First, the chapter explores the tension in the views in the Tuckney—Whichcote correspondence, Tuckney favouring the classic Calvinist position, and Whichcote relegating Scripture to a lower level than ‘reason’. Then the views of Pierre Bayle on Scripture and the operation of divine grace are considered, in the context of his defence of toleration. For Bayle, in a tolerant state Calvinism and Roman Catholicism (say) are to have public parity, even though their adherents may claim theological knowledge on the basis of adherence to their respective doctrines.

Keywords:   authority, Bayle, Cambridge Platonism, Puritanism, reason, Scripture, toleration, Tuckney, Westminster Assembly, Whichcote

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