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1. Calvin and the Early Christian Doctrine of the Trinity

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Chapter Summary

According to John Thompson it is a "widespread misconception that by way of the motto sola Scriptura Protestants wished to dispense with all post-apostolic traditions and writings". He certainly considered the Bible as the sole norm and source for Christian life and doctrine. John Calvin begins the chapter on the Trinity with a discussion of the classical concepts and definitions. He proves sensitive to the motives of those who do not want to subscribe to the traditional formulations concerning God's trinity. Calvin's point of departure here had been that on the one hand the Bible teaches that there is only one God, whereas on the other not only the Father, but also the Son and the Spirit are called God. The Calvin concludes, when believers sincerely have difficulties with the adoption of the classical concepts, because they want to live by the Bible alone, they should meet with our understanding.

Keywords:Christian doctrine; John Calvin; sola Scriptura; Trinity



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