a surprising Christological discovery

monkeyrocksunsetLet me lay a bit of Calvin on you (it’s from Institutes II.12.1):

It deeply concerned us, that he who was to be our Mediator should be very God and very man. If the necessity be inquired into, it was not what is commonly termed simple or absolute, but flowed from the divine decree on which the salvation of man depended. What was best for us, our most merciful Father determined. Our iniquities, like a cloud intervening between Him and us, having utterly alienated us from the kingdom of heaven, none but…

I’m going to hit PAUSE here and ask you: What do you expect him to say next?

Surely he’s got to say ‘none but God Himself, reaching down to us…’ or words to that effect. Right?

Wrong.

Here’s what he actually says:

Our iniquities, like a cloud intervening between Him and us, having utterly alienated us from the kingdom of heaven, none but a person reaching to him could be the medium of restoring peace.

Of course Calvin knows that God Himself did have to intervene in order to redeem us, and he immediately goes on to say as much. But the way he chooses to say it makes it sound like God had to do it in order to ensure that our head did really represent us by sharing our nature, that He was ‘near enough’ to us give us genuine hope, that He could reach to God and make peace.

And this is no isolated incident. Calvin consistently invokes the divinity of Christ in order to uphold His genuine humanity.

That’s my surprising Christological discovery. The question now is … So what?

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