Original Research

The central principle of Calvinism? Some criteria, proposals and questions

Renato Coletto
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 49, No 1 | a1969 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i1.1969 | © 2015 Renato Coletto | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 April 2015 | Published: 04 September 2015

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Renato Coletto, School of Philosophy, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Is there a ‘central principle’ of Calvinism? This article explores this question mainly from the viewpoint of reformational philosophy. It does so firstly by introducing criteria that should be used to identify, if possible, such a central ‘organon’ of Calvinism. Then a few proposals are evaluated, and their strong and weak points are discussed. The most credible candidate for the role of central principle is argued to be an ‘idea of law’ rooted in the biblical groundmotif and traditionally defined as ‘sphere-sovereignty’. More recent characterisations of this cosmonomic idea are considered. A few objections and alternative proposals are also discussed. The article is concluded with a few questions, calling for further research on the topic.

Wat is die sentrale beginsel van Calvinisme? Enkele kriteria, voorstelle en vrae. Is daar ’n ‘sentrale beginsel’ by Calvinisme te bespeur? Hierdie artikel ondersoek genoemde vraag hoofsaaklik vanuit die perspektief van die reformatoriese filosofie. Dit word eerstens gedoen deur die kriteria bekend te stel wat gebruik moet word om, indien moontlik, sodanige ‘organologie’ van Calvinisme te identifiseer. ’n Paar voorstelle word dan geëvalueer en hulle sterk en swak punte bespreek. Die geloofwaardigste kandidaat vir die rol van ’n sentrale beginsel is moontlik ’n ‘wetsidee’ wat in die bybelse grondmotief gewortel is en tradisioneel as ‘sfeersoewereiniteit’ gedefinieer word. Meer resente karakteriserings van hierdie kosmonomiese idee word ook oorweeg. ’n Aantal besware en alternatiewe voorstelle word daarna bespreek. Die artikel sluit af met enkele vrae waarmee ’n oproep tot verdere navorsing oor die onderwerp gedoen word.


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