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The Inventions of Rome

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For Rome, the church is the authoritative hierarchy that by its power decides the meaning of the Bible. For Calvin, the interpretation of the Bible in difficult matters should be given to learned members of the church to study the meaning of the Bible humbly and submissively.

For vast numbers of people, Roman Catholicism is the religion of choice. Rome can be attractive for a wide variety of reasons. The most significant is familial, people born into and persevering in the Roman Church. But other attractions of various sorts can be readily found: theological, philosophical, liturgical, moral, psychological, and historical.


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1 [ Back ] Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 2:80.
2 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:241.
3 [ Back ] John Calvin, "Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, with the Antidote," Selected Works (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1983), 3:69ff.
4 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:130.
5 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:131.
6 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:179ff.
7 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:83.
8 [ Back ] Calvin, 69.
9 [ Back ] Calvin, 74ff.
10 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 1:97.
11 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:209.
12 [ Back ] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1910), 3:275.
13 [ Back ] Schaff, History, 3:277.
14 [ Back ] Schaff, History, 3:279.
15 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:258.
16 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:262ff.
17 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:270.
18 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:269.
19 [ Back ] Cited in Robert Strimple, "The Relationship between Scripture and Tradition in Contemporary Roman Catholic Theology," Westminster Theological Journal 40 (Fall 1977), 29.
20 [ Back ] Cited in Lewis W. Spitz, The Protestant Reformation, 1517–1559 (New York: Harper and Row, 1985), 306.
21 [ Back ] For additional information on the claims of this article, see the faculty blog of Westminster Seminary California: www.wscal.edu/blog.
22 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:198.
23 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:200.
24 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:205.
25 [ Back ] Schaff, Creeds, 2:268ff and citing Luke 22:32.


W. Robert Godfrey is professor of church history and president of Westminster Seminary California (Escondido, California).

Issue: "Is the Reformation Over" Jan./Feb. 2013 Vol. 22 No. 1 Page number(s): 36-41

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