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Written by Tim Black   
Saturday, 10 January 2009 10:46

A year with the accommodated Institutes

Princeton Theological Seminary is hosting "A Year with the Institutes," a daily reading of Calvin's Institutes, on its website.  Point three of today's reading is summarized in Battles' heading:

3. We are not to fashion God according to our own whim

And Calvin's first sentence for today reads,

As experience shows, God has sown a seed of religion in all men.

But the audio recording of that sentence provided by Princeton says this:

As experience shows, God has sown a seed of religion in all people.

You can catch up on the gender-inclusive language debate in the comments on Princeton's site.  I'm reminded of Richard Muller's excellent book, "The Unaccommodated Calvin," which shows how Calvin's interpreters like to fashion Calvin's meaning according to their own whims, and recommends it's better for your soul if you don't do that.

Old school liberal theology is dead in the academy, but it hasn't been replaced by a return to conservative orthodoxy at Princeton.  It's been replaced with neo-orthodoxy and varieties of postmodernism, which allow the same practical results as liberalism did:  loose views of scripture, Marxist biblical interpretation, social activism, & politics, women in office, approving of homosexuality, etc.  So, in my estimation, Princeton understands its roots in the conservative Reformed tradition and considers itself Reformed, but isn't conservative, so isn't Reformed, at least not in a sense of which Calvin would have approved.

So I think it's fine to recommend discerning readers follow the proposed reading schedule, but I wouldn't encourage the average church member to seek spiritual guidance from the plan's organizers at Princeton.

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 January 2009 11:45