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Calvin and the Office of Apostle

In Calvin’s Institutes he says the following…

Book 4, 3.4
[Apostles, prophets, evangelists]…were not established in the Church as permanent ones, but only for that time during which churches were to be erected where none existed before, or where they were to be carried over from Moses to Christ. Still, I do not deny that the Lord has sometimes at a later period raised up apostles…as has happened in our own day. For there was need for such persons to lead the church back from the rebellion of Antichrist.

In the first part of Calvin’s statement we see him saying that the office of apostle was meant to lay the foundation of the church. In the later part he seems to be saying that when the church is under such a rebellion of Antichrist that it has lost this foundation.

However, in Book 4, 2.11 he says…
[God] did not allow his church either to be destroyed to the very foundations by Antichrist or to be leveled to the ground…he let it undergo frightful shaking and shattering, but…willed that a half-demolished building remain.


About theologian

I'm a child of the King, my Father who is in Heaven, by the precious blood of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. I am married with children and currently reside in Pennsylvania. I am a Pastor with the Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC) working as an Urban Missionary in Chester, PA. Throughout my time in ministry God has also blessed me with opportunities for formal education by which I earned my terminal degree (Doctor of Theology) from New Geneva Theological Seminary in 2013.


2 thoughts on “Calvin and the Office of Apostle

  1. I believe Calvin had it right in his first statement. My guess would be as to why he equivocated in the latter statement was due to the Reformer’s strong view of the papacy as the Antichrist. This was prevelant among most magisterial reformers and greatly influenced their theology. Though I believe God has granted us godly men since, I don’t believe they are appropriately considered apostles in the NT usage and intent of that word.

    Posted by David McCrory | February 16, 2007, 5:44 pm
  2. The part that i bolded on Calvin is what i believe for the apostolic and prophetic office…”only for that time during which churches were to be erected where none existed before”

    I also disagree with Calvin that the office of Evangelist is in the same sphere. I believe that office still exists today.

    Posted by theologian | February 16, 2007, 6:30 pm

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