Jana Kalwina zarys nauki o Kościele w świetle Institutio Religionis Christianae z 1543r.
The outline of John Calvin`s teaching on the Church in the light of Institutio Religionis Christianae from 1543
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One of the main postulates of the reformation movement, apart from the theological questions, was a proposal of the internal reform of the church institution. The Father of the Reformation, as Rev. Martin Luther is called in the source literature, raised the questions concerning the mission of the Church, its role in the magisterium, and also and perhaps above all its hierarchical structure and about the role of the clergy in the process of the eternal salvation. As a result of his reflections and probably his observations and his own experiences Luther undermined in succession different dogmatic, theological questions as well as those regarding the organization of the Roman Catholic Church. Slogans of renewal and reforms of the church structure spread very rapidly through the territory of German Reich, gaining numerous supporters among European nations. One of those for whom the Reformation ideas became the main field of activity was French man John Calvin. That well-rounded, well educated and well-read lawyer, knowing the main works of the German monk, acquired his principal theses postulating the changes in the functioning of the Church. Additionally, Calvin made a division of the Church between the earthly – the visible and the heavenly – the invisible one, and the person who bonds it, guarantees its unity and permanency, the indivisibility is the only and the highest Priest – Jesus Christ. In the work of his life Institucio Religionis Christianae Calvin embodied a full picture of the Christian Church as, in his opinion, it should be. Analysing particular issues regarding the function of the clergymen, the pope, celebrating the sacraments, penance and conversion, and also the eternal salvation, we are given the basic compendium of knowledge concerning the ecclesiology by John Calvin. His teaching about the Church, although in some points different in from the preaching of Rev. Martin Luther, however oscillates within the principal slogans of Reformation: Sola Fides – the man is saved solely by faith, Sola Gratia – God’s grace is necessary for salvation, Sola Scriptura – the only source of faith is the Holy Bible. He also added the idea: Solus Christus - only Christ saves, He is in the centre of The Church, we can observe Calvin’s Christ centred attitude in his preaching and in building ideological basics of the reformed denomination.
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