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Augustine Marlorate and the Heart and Marrow of Classic Calvinism

November 4, 2008

We get a lot of detractors who make a lot of noise that we are the deviant calvinists, or that we have taken the statements of true Calvinists out of context. I really cannot take a lot of these claims seriously.

Here are two reasons why.

The first is what the fact that I would bet my collection of Cleveland Browns baseball caps that a lot of the names we have cited, like Gualther for example, were completely unknown to our hyper- and uber-Calvinist detractors (unknown until we first tabled their names). And yet they insist we have taken men like Gualther out of context. So when they say we have taken statements from Gualther where he looks like he is reading Arminian-like, or Amyraldian-like, they have no objective criteria to make this determination about Gualther. That is, they have no framework of data from within Gualther to make this determination against us: I mean, I know they have not even read Gualther. Therefore, its clear to some of us, what is driving the “apologetics of denial” is an irrational insistence that its just a priorily impossible that we could be right, and so conversely that Gualther could have actually believed that.

The second is from such men as Augustine Marlorate. Marlorate was a French Reformer, sent out by Geneva. And yet again I bet all my Cleveland Browns paraphernalia that our uber-apologists, those uber-calvinist who pride themselves on their being so-called “internet” apologists, have not even heard of Marlorate (until we first tabled his name). And yet having said that, I know that both the Hyper-calvinists and uber-Calvinists will just insist that we are taking him out of context, distorting his true theology. After all, they will irrationally insist that there was no such thing as “Amyraldianism” before Dort (as one Hyper-calvinist insisted on another blog), or that because the issues regarding the extent of expiation were not debated before Dort (a complete untruth by the way) they could only have expressed themselves loosely, which can only mean carelessly, unguardedly. [I should clarify one thing here, I am not saying there was actually an Amyraldianism before Dort, I only speak against the rhetoric, for while Amyraldianism was not before Dort, the doctrines of unlimited redemption and expiation clearly do pre-date Amyraut and AmyraldianISM.]

Now to Marlorate:

1) Bu [Bullinger] Therefore he says here, “I will give”: & not “I have given.” He promised that he will give the keys, he gives them not. But after the resurrection he said unto them, “Peace be unto you. As my Father sent me, even so send I you also.” And when he had said these words, he breathed on them, and said unto them, “receive ye the the Holy Ghost. Who soever sins he remit, they are remitted unto them. And whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” In the which words,”As my Father sent me,” &c. there is a comparison, not an equality. For Christ was sent, that he might be the redemption of the whole world: the Apostles were not so sent, but only to preach. But as Christ was sent, of the Father, for the salvation of the whole world: so the Apostles were sent to preach this salvation, that they which believe their believe their preaching, might be saved, as if he had heard Christ himself: as he says in another place, “He which hears you hears me.” Moreover he says not, “They shall be given, but I will give”: by the which words Christ challenges all this power of the kingdom of heaven to himself, as Lord in so much that he might commit the same to whom it pleased him. For here it makes no great matter, not only who receives, but of whom any thing is received. Augustine Marlorate, A Catholike and Ecclesiastical Exposition of the Holy Gospel after S. Mathew, gathered out of all the singular and approued Deuines (which the Lorde hath geuen to his Churche) by Augustine Marlorate. And translated out of Latine into Englishe, by Thomas Tymme, Minister, Sene and allowed according to the order appointed (Imprinted at London in Fletestreate near vnto S. Dunstones churche, by Thomas Marshe, 1570), Matt. 13:15; p., 362. [Some spelling modernized.].

2) Therefore works do not justify, that is to say, they do not make us the more acceptable unto God: the which works can be nothing else but sin, condemning, if so be they be wrought before thou be purified, and regenerated by the Spirit of God: because that an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. But the Lord describing his judgment, says (after the manner of men): that every man shall be judged, according to his works: even as we commonly are wont to judge.

Neither does he say, that every man shall receive according to his works, as though our works were the first cause of our salvation. For the special cause why we obtain everlasting life, is the voluntary & free will of God: and the second cause are the merits of Christ, for he died for salvation of all mankind: but this also is a free gift of good will of God. The third cause, our faith, by the which we embrace and receive this good will of God, and the merits of Christ. Augustine Marlorate, A Catholike and Ecclesiastical Exposition of the Holy Gospel after S. Mathew, gathered out of all the singular and approued Deuines (which the Lorde hath geuen to his Churche) by Augustine Marlorate. And translated out of Latine into Englishe, by Thomas Tymme, Minister, Sene and allowed according to the order appointed (Imprinted at London in Fletestreate near vnto S. Dunstones churche, by Thomas Marshe, 1570), Matt. 13:15; pp., 271-272. [Some spelling modernized.].

3) {And Iesus rebuked.} M. [Musculus] That is to say he commanded him: according to the which we read in the 8th chapter going before. Whereupon the Evangelist Mark more at large expounding this, says that Christ after this manner spake unto the spirit, “Thou dumb and death spirit. I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” This reprehension declares a certain indignation and anger of Christ against the unclean spirit: & that justly. For how should not he which came to save all men, be angry with the spirit of perdition, & the enemy of mankind? For the more the love of Christ was toward mankind, the greater was his hate against those spirits which were the enemies of the health of mankind. Augustine Marlorate, A Catholike and Ecclesiastical Exposition of the Holy Gospel after S. Mathew, gathered out of all the singular and approued Deuines (which the Lorde hath geuen to his Churche) by Augustine Marlorate. And translated out of Latine into Englishe, by Thomas Tymme, Minister, Sene and allowed according to the order appointed (Imprinted at London in Fletestreate near vnto S. Dunstones churche, by Thomas Marshe, 1570), Matt. 13:15; pp., 386-387. [Some spelling modernized.].

For more on Marlorate, go here.

What I love about this is that Marlorate is freely able to capture both sides of the Biblical data, the particularist and universal aspects of God’s will (secret and revealed). He does not have to apologize for what he says. He does not have to qualify it to death (dying the death of a thousand qualifications). Marlorate is able to hold election and reprobation, side by side with the unlimited work of Christ and his desire to save all men.

Now for something completely different.

I have to admit that in some of my posts, my “tone” is coming across heavier than usual. I want to explain this. The unalloyed malice toward us and toward classic and moderate Calvinism has gotten to the level where it is uncharitable at best, to downright deceitful and malicious at worst. The type of claims being made by both hyper-calvinists and uber-Calvinists, in my mind, has gotten to the point where I want to say “enough is enough… get it together and deal honestly with the historical facts.” Agree to disagree biblically and theologically, but at least be historically honest. I know my frustration is coming through, and for that I apologize. The balance should be in being able to present a positive polemic in such a way as one does not allow sinful men to define one’s self.

And so I say, if you want to accuse us of taking folk like Marlorate, Musculus, Bullinger, Gualther, et al, out of context, then go grab copies of the works we cite, read them and show us from within these works were we have misquoted or distorted them. Don’t just thump your chest and assert that we have taken them out of context. Ad fontes, go to the sources. If you cannot do that, then have a modicum of humility to hold your words until you can search out the primary sources.

To wrap this up: Unashamedly, I set forth Marlorate’s Calvinism as a refreshing Calvinism, a Calvinism which I want to get back to, and hope others would have this same desire.

David

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2008 8:59 pm

    greetings in precious blood of our risen and redmeer miriculous power sir, I AM A REAL POOR STUDENT THEOLOGICAL STUDENT AND I FROM A VERY DANGROUS COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD NAMED PAKISTAN WHO ARE KILLING PASTORS AND BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS LIKE A DOG OR GIVIG THEM FAKE BLHSEPHEMY LAWS 35YEARS JAIL PROOF IS VOICE OF MYRTYERS IN OKHALHOMA SO PLEASE PLEASE LET ME STUDY THEOLOGY AND GODS WORD WHICH IS MY HOBBY TOO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE PLEASE

  2. Flynn permalink*
    November 13, 2008 1:06 am

    Hey there Markkhan,

    You are welcome to drop by any time, ask questions related to posts.

    Thanks
    David

  3. November 23, 2008 7:38 pm

    I didn’t know you had a collection of Cleveland Browns baseball? I live in a suburb of Cleveland.

    This is a sweet article, and I’m printing it so I can elaborate on it. It’s going to require some thinking on part instead of blurting out an answer off the top of my head.

  4. Flynn permalink*
    November 25, 2008 10:30 am

    Hey Donald,

    Hey man. I hope you are doing well.

    I was based in Ohio when I was working out some stuff for Seminary. I got to like the Cleveland Browns apparel. And since then I have made it a sort of trademark of mine. Everytime I am up there for vacation I buy a few Browns hats. And my friends buy me Brown’s T-shirts.

    Next time I am up there I should drop in on you and we can have lunch or something.

    Thanks
    David

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