Title

Faustus Socinus and John Calvin on the merits of Christ.

Publication Date

8-2010

Abstract

Pressed by Laelius Socinus on the apparent contradiction between salvation as literally merited and yet graciously bestowed, Calvin responded that Christs literal and proper merit procured salvation but did so through God's gracious ordination of Christ as redeemer, thus obviating the apparent difficulty. Yet, in the Institutes Calvin criticizes Lombard for teaching that Jesus merited his own exaltation, arguing that no man, Jesus included, could gain such merit. Calvin concludes that although Christ's exaltation followed his obedience, it did so purely of grace and as an example for us. This study explores how Faustus Socinus picks up the debate, exploiting Calvin's admission of the impossibility of gaining literal merit and pressing what he sees as the devastating consequences of this admission for the orthodox doctrine. Also considered is Faustus's critique of what he regards as Calvin's untenable and contradictory response to the queries of his uncle, Laelius, on the compatibility of grace with merit.

Keywords

Socinus, Faustus, 1539-1604; Atonement; Calvin, Jean, 1509-1564

Publication Title

Reformation & Renaissance Review

Volume

12

Issue

2-3

First Page

189

Last Page

205

DOI of Published Version

10.1558/rrr.v12i2-3.189.

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