GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - In an event that has left the medical community stunned, John Calvin the Reformer (click here to read about a different John Calvin) was resurrected from the dead about three weeks ago. This has been kept silent until today for two reasons. First, because it would cause a media frenzy, Calvin's doctors did not want to immediately release the news to the press. Second, Calvin needed to be brought up to speed on things that have occurred since his death (such as the Puritan movement in England, the Enlightenment, the Industrial revolution, controlled electricity, manned-flight, the wars of the 20th Century, and the iPhone).
Calvin was gracious enough to sit down with TBNN for his initial interview with any media outlet (being Reformed does have some advantages after all). Although his first language is still French, he was kind enough to speak to us using the biblical language, 1611 KJV English (click here). We at TBNN have since translated what he said into modern English so all our readers can understand.
TBNN: Thank you so much for granting us this interview. We are deeply honored. How did this all happen?
Calvin: I have no idea. I just woke up in bed one morning in a hospital in Geneva.
TBNN: Let's jump right into things. Some Protestants today refer to themselves as "Calvinists." What do you think of this?
Calvin: It is actually kind of embarrassing and flattering. Some have said that I was an Augustinian, but I actually just thought of myself as being biblical.
TBNN: Calvinists have taken your teachings and distilled them into an easy to remember acrostic - TULIP. Have you heard of this, and could we ask you what you think of it?
Calvin: I never could fully trust that Theodore Beza. He was such a zealot, always showing up at my door at all times of the day and night. I think he came up with TULIP. Anyway, go ahead and ask me about it.
TBNN: We at TBNN consider ourselves to be Calvinistic. In other words, we hold to the five points of Calvinism. Where do you stand on this issue?
Calvin: This whole thing kind of bugs me. If you read my writings, you know that I wrote about a lot more than just five theological points. Unfortunately, many folks today who refer to themselves as Calvinists actually haven't read what I wrote. For that matter, most of my critics also haven't read my writings. Let's take TULIP point-by-point:
T - I'm torn over this one. I never really did completely figure out the book of Romans. Sorry, for those of you who bought my commentary set. On the one hand, Romans 3:10-11 tells us that no one is righteous or seeks God. On the other hand, Romans 10:9 seems to suggest otherwise. After over 400 years, I'm still unsure. Let's give it half a point.
U - Yes, I agree with this. No one would repent of his own free will. The world's pleasures are too enticing for that to happen. So God decided to choose some to be saved. Ephesians 1:3-5 makes this pretty clear. By the way, to "choose" means to "choose," not to look into the future.
L - No, I don't think there was any limit on the extent of Christ's payment. When Jesus died it was for all people. Look at I John 2:2 and 4:14.
I - A lot of people don't like this doctrine, but I do believe it is true. When an elect person is saved, he is able to see God for how wonderful he is. He would never resist this gift. The reprobate is never convicted of his sin, so his rejection of God is not a rejection of God's grace because it is never offered to him.
P -Yes, "Once saved, always saved" I always say. I think Paul addressed that in Ephesians 1:13-14. The key to remember is that it is God who preserves the elect; they do not do it for themselves.
So I guess you could call me a 3 and 1/2 point Calvinist.
TBNN: Well, we are certainly surprised to hear some of your conclusions. You've given us something to ponder. Now that you are alive, what do you plan to do with your time?
Calvin: I would like to do a lot of reading, and later some writing. I think I'll start with these youngsters John Owen and Jonathan Edwards. I've heard good things about them. Their writings don't look too complicated to me. After I finish with them, I want to move on to a newcomer named John Piper. Most folks seem to either really like him or, well, the opposite.
And by the way, you should be using my Institutes to teach your children's Sunday School classes.