While having a break from my studies, I started and finished reading a small book regarding the written debate between the Protestant Reformer John Calvin and the Roman Catholic bishop Jacopo Sadoleto. The book is entitled A Reformation Debate: John Calvin and Jacopo Sadoleto, edited by John C. Olin (copyright 1966), 11th printing (1993), published by Baker Book House with permission of Harper & Row, Publishers.
In this small book, which I must admit is rather heady and hard to read, I would like to share a few quotes from John Calvin which is pertinent for us today. In particular, these quotes show us that the fight today against those Charismatics which de-emphasize the Word in favour of 'new revelation' from the Holy Spirit whom they claim is speaking to them today, and against those in the 'Emerging church' who do likewise while going further in their denigration of the written Word, is nothing new (Ecc. 1:9-11). John Calvin fought against these same tendencies in his day, as found in the Roman Catholic church.
So, here goes. John Calvin vs. the 'spirit led' Charismatics & the Emerging 'church':
And yet, ... Satan never transforms himself so cunningly as not in some measure to betray himself, [thus] the principal weapon with which they both (referring to the Pope and the Anabaptists — the heretics and servants of Satan in his time) assail us is the same. For when they boast extravagently of the Spirit, the tendency certainly is to sink and bury the Word of God, that they may make room for their own falsehoods. ... [It is an] affront which you (referring to Sadoleto — the heretics of his time) offer to the Holy Spirit, when you seperate Him from the Word. (p. 61)
Now, then, will not the first machination of the enemy (Satan) be to wrest the sword from the soldier of Christ? And what the method of wrestling it, but to set him adoubting whether it be the Word of the Lord that he is leaning upon, or the word of man?(p. 78)
To make it more explicit, here is John Calvin's words to the 'spirit-led' Charismatics:
For when you boast extravagently of the Spirit, your tendency certainly is to sink and bury the Word of God, that you may make room for your own falsehoods. It is thus an affront which you offer to the Holy Spirit, when you seperate Him from the Word.
And here is John Calvin's words to the 'Emerging' church:
Now, then, will not the first machination of the enemy Satan be to wrest the sword from the soldier of Christ? And what the method of wrestling it, but to set him adoubting whether it be the Word of the Lord that he is leaning upon, or the word of man?
And I will add:
People in both of these movement have been deceived by the devil! People of God, please seperate youself from these two unbiblical movements immediately!