n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Calvin in word and deed : a communicological appreciation : research article

Volume 66, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0023-270X
  • E-ISSN: 2304-8557



Calvin in word and deed : a communicological appreciation

John Calvin's views on the role of the preacher, as well as the manner in which he applied these views in practice, are examined by using a simplified linear model of communication. Firstly, Calvin's view on the role of the preacher is examined - as expressed in the Institutes, his letters and commentaries. From a communication perspective, it is clear that, from what Calvin said, he thoroughly saw himself as a servant, relying on the Word of God - a servant who had to execute his assignment in obedience to what God (communicator in the model) expected from him as an instrument in His hands. Secondly, in addition to Calvin's views on his role as a preacher, it was also established how he acted in some demanding situations. The consistency of his thinking was illustrated by comparing what he did to what he said. The examination revealed that Calvin's action was to bring the Word. Calvin's actions were therefore consistent with the views articulated in his writings. Thirdly, from his letters to persecuted followers, we can deduce Calvin's views on the practical application of the ideas which he stated in the Institutes and other publications. The article concludes that, if measured against the simplified linear communication model, it can be assumed that Calvin saw himself as a communication medium or channel used by God to convey His message and not as a communicator following his own agenda.

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