The Sophists, who make game and sport in their corrupting of Scripture and their empty caviling, think they have a subtle evasion. For they explain “works” as meaning those which men not yet reborn do only according to the letter by the effort of their own free will, apart from Christ’s grace. But they deny that these refer to spiritual works. For, according to them, man is justified by both faith and works provided they are not his own works but the gifts of Christ and the fruit of regeneration. For they say that Paul so spoke for no other reason than to convince the Jews, who were relying upon their own strength, that they were foolish to arrogate righteousness to themselves, since the Spirit of Christ alone bestows it upon us not through any effort arising from our own nature. Still they do not observe that in the contrast between the righteousness of the law and of the gospel, which Paul elsewhere introduces, all works are excluded, whatever title may grace them [Galatians 3:11-12].
Friday, June 22, 2007
Calvin vs. Augustine?
I don't doubt that Calvin may contradict himself somewhere (he might not be perfect), but this is a dart thrown at at least one of the doctrinal stances of some of the FV followers. I know that this is not the exegesis of Galatians that FV guys would want to work with, and I'm not sure that this is even their position, but it is the position of many of their followers, who have either been led astray, or have been confused. The following is from Calvin's Institutes: