Archive for Reformed Theology Institute RTI, founded July 2008, is a venue for Reformed theology, education, training, and discussion.

       Reformed Theology Institute Forum Index -> Leaders Past and Present

John Calvin on Anti-Christ

"To some we seem slanderous and petulant, when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who think so perceive not that they are bringing a charge of intemperance against Paul, alter whom we speak, nay, in whose very words we speak. But lest any one object that Paul's words have a different meaning, and are wrested by us against the Roman Pontiff, I will briefly show that they can only be understood of the Papacy. Paul says that Antichrist would sit in the temple of God, (2 Thess. 2: 4.) In another passage, the Spirit, portraying him in the person of Antiochus, says that his reign would be with great swelling words of vanity, (Dan. 7: 25.) Hence we infer that his tyranny is more over souls than bodies, a tyranny set up in opposition to the spiritual kingdom of Christ. Then his nature is such, that he abolishes not the name either of Christ or the Church, but rather uses the name of Christ as a pretext, and lurks under the name of Church as under a mask. But though all the heresies and schisms which have existed from the beginning belong to the kingdom of Antichrist, yet when Paul foretells that defection will come, he by the description intimates that that seat of abomination will be erected, when a kind of universal defection comes upon the Church, though many members of the Church scattered up and down should continue in the true unity of the faith. But when he adds, that in his own time, the mystery of iniquity, which was afterwards to be openly manifested, had begun to work in secret, we thereby understand that this calamity was neither to be introduced by one man, nor to terminate in one man, (see Calv. in 2 Thess. 2: 3; Dan. 7: 9.) Moreover, when the mark by which he distinguishes Antichrist is, that he would rob God of his honour and take it to himself, he gives the leading feature which we ought to follow in searching out Antichrist; especially when pride of this description proceeds to the open devastation of the Church. Seeing then it is certain that the Roman Pontiff has impudently transferred to himself the most peculiar properties of God and Christ, there cannot be a doubt that he is the leader and standard-bearer of an impious and abominable kingdom."  Calvin's Institutes, Book 4, Chapter 7, Section 25

I have problems with saying the Papacy is THE Antichrsit, though I know it was the view of most of the Reformers.  I can however agree the Papacy is one of the many antichrists that have gone out into the world.
David Puleo

I believe the Papacy is the Antichrist, but I believe that John was referring to Nero if in fact john writes and calls him their brother in this tribulation. The roman siege was the desolation of the temple and the abomination stood right there. There are many Antichrists I would include the Catholic church in this statement. But I know of some Catholics who truly love Jesus.
student ad x

I have no problem understanding from Scripture that the papacy is antichrist. Thank you sis!
Ask Mr. Religion

While I am always hesitant to take issue with Calvin on many matters, I am not able to state with confidence the Pope is the Antichrist, but I do affirm the Pope represents the antichrist spirit spoken of in Scripture.
       Reformed Theology Institute Forum Index -> Leaders Past and Present
Page 1 of 1