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Font of Pardon and New Life – John Calvin and the Efficacy of Baptism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Font of Pardon and New Life: John Calvin and the Efficacy of Baptism

Lyle D. Bierma


This book is a study of the historical development and impact of John Calvin’s doctrine of baptismal efficacy. The primary questions it addresses are (1) whether Calvin taught an “instrumental” doctrine of baptism, according to which the external sign of the sacrament serves as a means or instrument to convey the spiritual realities it signifies, and (2) whether Calvin’s teaching on baptismal efficacy remained constant throughout his lifetime or underwent significant change. Secondarily, the work also examines whether such spiritual blessings, in Calvin’s view, are conferred only in adult (bel ... More

Keywords: Book John Calvin, efficacy of baptism, sacrament as instrument, infant baptism, means of grace, Reformed confession, Holy Spirit, faith, instrument of knowledge, assurance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197553879
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197553879.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lyle D. Bierma, author
P. J. Zondervan Professor of the History of Christianity, Calvin Theological Seminary