Original Research

‘And behold a ladder’: Descent and ascent in Calvin’s soteriology

Nico Vorster
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 49, No 1 | a2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i1.2022 | © 2015 Nico Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 July 2015 | Published: 20 November 2015

About the author(s)

Nico Vorster, Faculty of Theology, North- West University, South Africa


This article investigates Calvin’s use of the schema of descent and ascent to construct his soteriology. The main argument offered is that Calvin utilises the notion of descent-ascent as a tool to weave together juridical and mystical categories in his soteriology. The descentascent scheme enables him to construct a theocentric soteriology that is personal and dynamic in nature, whilst concrete in ethical application. It also endows his soteriology with a strong pneumatological and eschatological orientation.

‘Aanskou die leer’: Neerdaling en opvaring in Calvyn se soteriologie. Hierdie artikel ondersoek Calvyn se gebruik van die neerdaling-opvaringskema in sy soteriologie. Die argument is dat Calvyn hierdie skema as ’n instrument gebruik om die juridiese en mistieke kategorieë in sy soteriologie te integreer. Die neerdaling-opvaringskema stel hom in staat om ’n teosentriese soteriologie te ontwikkel wat persoonlik en dinamies van aard is, maar terselfdertyd konkreet in etiese toepassing. Dit verskaf ook ’n deurslaggewende pneumatologiese en eskatologiese oriëntasie aan sy soteriologie.


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