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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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John Calvin

John Calvin

(p.191) 11 John Calvin
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

Randall C. Zachman

NYU Press

This chapter covers the sacramental theology of John Calvin, emphasizing the recurring connection and interplay between word and image—that is, that both the Law and the Gospel are portrayed in a way that connects with the physical senses in the image of the sacraments. For Calvin, sacraments are connected to the self-manifestation of God in creation and in Christ as well as the self-revelation of Christ in word and sacrament. An intriguing aspect of Calvin’s sacramental theology is his view that Christ initially gave himself through the “sacrament of the Law” and later gave himself through the “sacraments of the Gospel”—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the latter being a ladder ascending to heaven. Thus, both the Old and New Testaments play a vital role in Calvin’s theologies of the Sacraments.

Keywords:   sacrament, baptism, John Calvin, Law and Gospel

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