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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA ORTHODOXA - Issue no. 1 / 2009  
  Article:   JEAN CALVIN (1509-1564) AND HIS TEACH ON CHURCH.

Authors:  .
  Abstract:  Protestant Reform brings a turning in the traditional teaching on Church. Calvin saw Reform as a restoration of the true Catholic Church, which was almost completely suppressed and undiscovered in the previous epoch.
Church is the elected assembly, the saved, because salvation depends only on the divine decision. Therefore predestination becomes fundamental premise of Reformed ecclesiology. The Church is at most a frame of the redemption, it may guide towards salvation. Man can only save in the Church as a assambly, a sociological frame. It may find a more positive attitude towards Calvin''''''''s view on Church, under the influence of Lutheran theologian Martin Bucer. In the last years of his activity, Calvin speaks about the growing proximity between seen Church, which give an increasingly important and the unseen one - without identifying them.
Elements of the classical Protestant theory of general priesthood, the social-eclesial principle of Reform, can be seen, obviously in Calvin’s work. Jean Calvin is in agreement with the biblical and apostolic character of hands’ laying, but does not allow the sacramentality of the Ordination.
The fundamental mistake of the reformers, including Jean Calvin, the author of the famous sentence: Ecclesia semper reformanda was that they wanted to reform the Church stucture (doctrine). But Church has its teachings from the Savior, by supernatural Revelation and unchangeable. Reform in the Church may be made only on the human element.

Keywords: John Calvin, Church, Reformed ecclesiology, general priesthood.
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