3 Terrell, DG - Short Notes on the Reformation II 15). If one could be baptized for the dead, though the practice had fallen out of use, what prevented one from being baptized for the newly living? By focusing on baptism after repentance, and not having an accommodation for handling unbaptized minors, the Anabaptists, in the minds of Luther, Zwingli and the Church were condemning an entire class of innocents to eternal damnation
this was the root cause of the antipathy. For me, discussion about the Spiritualists should center around two points. First is the mainstream consideration, shared by Luther and Zwingli, that the New Testament was a single divinely-inspired document, instead of an anthology. Second, I would point out the prohibition in
Revelation 22 against adding to, or redacting from, “this book.” But which book? When one
considers that the books of the New Testament were not assembled in chronological sequence; and seeing that there was a similar injunction levied in Deuteronomy 4 and 12, it is ironic that they considered the cannon closed.
Calvinism as a source of Social Stability.
I am intrigued by Marty's
assertion that “Calvinist doctrine pr
esented to those who were tired of political instability or who had been disenchanted by impious clericalism a new option, separate
from the still papal leanings of Lutheranism.”
I am pondering if some of the city governments “infected” with Calvinism cons
ciously used its willingness to compel performance and behaviors in pursuit of domestic tranquility. One gets that impression in MacCulloch (MacCulloch 2004, 238-242). I also wonder at the influence that Calvin had upon the city government of Geneva. Perhaps his willingness to equip the laity with the skills to reason out their own theology energized their participation (MacCulloch, 246-247). But, heaven help the person
who thought outside Calvin‟s theological box.
MacCulloch also speaks about Calvin‟s “Reformed Catholicism”
(248) which causes me to wonder if he cast himself (quietly, in his heart) in the role of Vicar of Christ. He certainly acted the part.
Calvinism as a decentralized force for stability