Original Research

Preaching as topical communication: The case of Calvin

L. F. Schulze
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 32, No 2 | a1634 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v32i2.1634 | © 1998 L. F. Schulze | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 1998 | Published: 13 June 1998

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L. F. Schulze,, South Africa

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Because of the enmity and even persecution of Protestants by the Roman Church and Roman states during the Reformation, the conduct of Protestants in Roman countries became a topical issue - indeed an existential issue of life or death. In these circumstances many Protestants tried to compromise their faith by partaking externally in the Roman rites, especially the Mass and parochial Mass, in order to safeguard their existence. The first of the Four Sermons (Quatre sermons, 1552), addressing this existential question, is presented as an example of the topicality of Calvin's preaching. Having analysed some key words in Calvin’s exposition and application of his text (Ps. 16:4-6) it is concluded (a) that Calvin puts the Gospel squarely in the midst of the daily life of his congregation, (b) that his accent on the body contradicts the popular notion of Calvin's “spiritual tendency” and (c) his rejection of the Mass rests on the biblical message of the unique atonement of Christ, once and for all.


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