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Calvin’s Reception and Reformulation of the Necessitarian Concepts of the Early Reformation on Human Will, Providence, and Predestination

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Chapter Summary

John Calvin's reception of the necessitarian concepts of the early Reformation in his defense of Martin Luther's early Reformation doctrine of the bondage of human will had a significant and complex impact on his reformulation of the human will, providence, and predestination. One of the most important modifications Calvin makes in his reformulation of Luther's view is that he does not limit the scope of the active concept of God's sovereign will in a post-fall framework, but he repeatedly applies it also to the fall of Adam. This constitutes a major discontinuity between Luther and Calvin. As a whole, Calvin does provide a more nuanced formulation that distinguishes the necessity caused by inward corruption and that caused by divine sovereignty, and gives more explicit affirmation to the natural freedom and contingency of secondary causality in his reformulation than Luther does.

Keywords: divine providence; divine sovereignty; doctrine of predestination; human will; John Calvin's reception; Martin Luther's early reformation; necessitarian concepts

10.1163/9789004258297_010
/content/books/b9789004258297s010
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