Summary Of John Calvin's Prefatory Addres

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John Calvin is sometimes referred to as one of the greatest Reformation theologians. Calvin studied law before he studied theology. Calvin argues for two types of government in his compendium of theology, "The Institutes of the Christian Religion,” one, government that rules the spiritual, or inward aspect of humanity, the spiritual government, and two, government that rules the external aspects of human life, the secular government. “Man is the subject of two kinds of government, and having sufficiently discussed that which is situated in the soul, or the inner man, and relates to eternal life, we are, in this chapter, to say something of the other kind, which relates to civil justice, and the regulation of the external conduct. “

In Calvin’s mind, no human law could stand on it’s own without God, who has created the world and government in the beginning. According to Calvin, the laws of the state should be positive laws that are grounded in God's law as revealed in nature and written in God’s Word. “Calvin’s views regarding government stemmed from his belief in the necessity of civil authority because of the depravity of man, his belief in providence, and his uncompromising certainty that God is sovereign over all things, including governments.”
In “Prefatory
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For I do not allow men to make laws respecting religion and the worship of God now, any more than I did before; though I approve of civil government, which provides that the true religion which is contained in the law of God, be not violated, and polluted by public blasphemies, with impunity. But the perspicuity of order will assist the readers to attain a clearer understanding of what sentiments ought to be entertained respecting the whole system of civil administration, if we enter on a discussion of each branch of
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