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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912

Tydskr. geesteswet. vol.49 n.3 Pretoria  2009

 

Calvins Theologie des Heiligen Geistes

 

Calvin's Theology of the Holy Spirit

 

 

Michael Beintker

Seminar für Reformierte Theologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät, Münster, Deutschland

 

 


OPSOMMING

CALVYN SE TEOLOGIE VAN DIE HEILIGE GEES:
In sy Institusie skram Calvyn nie weg van die mees eksistensiële grondvrae van Christenwees nie: Wat is geloof? Hoe ontstaan geloof? Hoe word 'n mens daarvan bewus? Voorafgaande aan hierdie soteriologiese vraagstelling, behandel hy die Heilige Gees. Hy stel trouens die soteriologie doelbewus op pneumatologiese basis. Kenmerkend van sy pneumatologie is die Christo-soteriologiese konsentrasie daarvan. Die punt waarom dit hier gaan is die uitklaring van die vraag hoe God in Christus na ons toe kom. Die realiteit van die ganse Christelike lewe stoel dus op die werk van die Heilige Gees. In die onderrig oor die Heilige Gees bly Calvyn egter binne die raam van 'n trinitaries-teologiese perspektief en differensieer hy slegs in terme van die verhouding (relationes) tussen Vader, Seun en Gees. Die werk van die Vader staan so in verband met die skepping, dié van die Seun met die versoening en verlossing. Op grond van Johannes 16:13-15 gaan dit in die werk van die Heilige Gees om die realisering van wat die Vader en Seun doen. So word God se aktualiteit trinitaries-teologies identifiseerbaar. Calvyn werk gevolglik sy pneumatologie in twee rigtings uit: 1. die herskepping en verlossing, wat insluit die getuieniswerk van die Gees in verband met die Skrif (hermeneutiek) en die sakramente; 2. die skepping en onderhouding van die kosmos, waarin sy onderrig oor die Heilige Gees 'n trinitariese brug na die leer van die voorsienigheid van God word.

Trefwoorde: Calvyn, Heilige Gees, Soteriologie, Pneumatologie, Heilige Skrif, Sakramente, Geloof, Skepping


ABSTRACT

Calvin's treatment in the Institutes of the reality of Christ, of salvation, of the most existential and fundamental questions of being a Christian - eg. what faith is, how it actually comes into being, how we become aware of it - is preceded by a chapter on the Holy Spirit and his significance for Christian existence and life. What is known or confessed or experienced of Christ, is effected and realized through the concealed work of the Holy Spirit. Calvin thus intentionally argues the soteriology on the foundation of pneumatology.
The Holy Spirit pre-eminently sustains not only the Trinitarian unity and community between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but also creates the mutual communio sanctorum between the believers. This communion is an unio cum Christo, determined by Christ. It is though realized by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. This Spirit leads us through faith to the light of the gospel. In this way the reality of the whole Christian life depends on the work of the Holy Spirit.
In and through the Holy Spirit we are met by the authentic and Trinitarian God Himself. The Trinitarian unity, Calvin argues, is not an undifferentiated identity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is unified in a unitas essentiae. The only way to differentiate between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is possible in terms of the relation (relationes) between the Persons of the Godhead. This differentiation is linked with the pluriformity of the work of God: the Father and creation, the Son and (re)conciliation and salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit is to effectively realize what the Father and Son do. The Holy Spirit is God's activity in action. The only biblical way to understand and comprehend this is along a Trinitarian-theological line. The Trinitarian relation can only be apprehended in pneumatological categories.
Calvin develops his pneumatology accordingly in two directions. 1. Re-creation regeneration and salvation. The focus here is on the work of the Spirit in the sphere of faith and the Christian congregation. Sanctification and faith are seen as specific concretizations. The Spirit, effectuating the Christ-event, is also designated as the ..Spirit of Sanctification" (..Geist der Heiligung"; Spiritus sanctificationis) and distinguished from the general operation within the context of creation. The Spirit of sanctification shows itself as the root and seed of the heavenly life within us which, in turn, is only possible because we can believe. Therefore believing is emphasized as the most significant work of the Holy Spirit. After pneumatology the chapter on faith has to follow.
Two aspects are of importance. The first is connected to the hermeneutical issue. On what grounds do we know for sure that the Scriptures testify of the living God and that they are not human (religious) words? The certainty of this conviction does not rest upon disputations, Calvin states, but on the concealed testimony of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, Calvin elucidates the work and testimony of Holy Spirit in relation to the Word and sacraments. The praesentia realis of Christ in the Lord's Supper, is a presence through Word and Spirit.
The second direction in which Calvin expounds his pneumatology, is related to creation and the sustaining or preserving of the cosmos. In this regard his teaching on the Holy Spirit becomes a Trinitarian bridge to the doctrine of the Providence of God. God's Spirit is obviously the effector providentiae. Consequently the Christian appreciation of reality receives a characteristic and distinctive spiritual foundation.

Key words: Calvin, Holy Spirit, Soteriology, Pneumatology, Holy Scriptures, Sacraments, Faith, Creation


 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

1 Deutsche Übersetzung nach: Johannes Calvin, Unterricht in der christlichen Religion. Institutio Christianae religionis [1559], übers. u. bearb. von O. Weber, Neukirchen-Vluyn 51988. Lateinische Zitate entstammen den Opera selecta (OS): Johannes Calvini Opera selecta III-V, München 1928-1936.
2 Werner Krusche, Das Wirken des Heiligen Geistes nach Calvin, Berlin 1957, 11.
3 S. van der Linde, De Leere van den Heiligen Geest bij Calvijn, Wageningen 1944.
4 A. Baars, Om Gods verhevenheid en Zijn nabijheid. De Drie-eenheid bij Calvijn, Kampen 2004.
5 Myung-Sun Moon, Das Wirken des Heiligen Geistes zur Stiftung der Gemeinschaft mit Jesus Christus. Eine Untersuchung zu Johannes Calvins Pneumatologie nach der Institutio von 1536 und der Institutio von 1559, Heidelberg 2007.
6 OS III, 131, Z. 3-4. Calvin zitiert aus Gregors Taufrede (In sanctum baptisma MSG 36, 418).
7 Überschrift zu I,13 (OS III, 108, Z. 20 u.         [ Links ]ö.).
8 Vgl. dazu Hans Helmut Eßer, Hat Calvin eine leise modalisierende Trinitätslehre?", in: Wilhelm H. Neuser (Hg.), Calvinus Theologus. Die Referate des Europäischen Kongresses für Calvinforschung vom 16. bis 19. September 1974 in Amsterdam, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1976, 113-129.
9 Vgl. OS III, 116, Z. 33.
10 Vgl. OS III, 134f. passim.
11 .. ubi autem adiungitur Filius Patri, tunc in medium venit relatio: atque ita distinguimus inter personas" (OS III, 134, Z. 6f.; Institutio I,13,20).
12 Vgl. Adversus Petri Caroli calumnias (1545), CO 7, (293-339) 323f.
13 Vgl. CChr.SL 39, 905f. (Auslegung zu Ps 68,5).
14 Vgl. OS III, 133, Z. 16ff.
15 Vgl. OS III, 133, Z. 23.
16 AaO, Z. 20-22; vgl. CChr.SL 50, 210ff.
17 Hervorhebung vom Verf.
18 OS III, 132, Z. 9.
19 AaO, Z. 10f.
20 AaO, Z. 11.
21 Krusche (Anm. 2), 11.
22 AaO, 11.
23 Ebd.
24 Zitat aus OS IV, 4, Z. 21 (Institutio III,1,3).
25 Krusche (Anm. 2), 11f.
26 Vgl. Krusche, aaO, 17, 122. - Zur kosmischen und geschichtlichen Entgrenzung der Pneumatologie durch Calvin siehe auch Christian Link, Schöpfung. Schöpfungstheologie in reformatorischer Tradition, Gütersloh 1991 (= HST 7), 125f., 131f., sowie Michael Beintker, Creator Spiritus. Zu einem unerledigten Problem der Pneumatologie, EvTh 46, 1986, 12-26, speziell zu Calvin 20ff.
27 Institutio 1559, III, 1, 2, vgl. OS IV, 2, Z. 12-14.
28 Vgl. zu den Einzelheiten Beintker, Creator spiritus (Anm. 26), 14ff.
29 Alle Zitate nach WA.TR 5, 367, Z. 12-16 (Nr. 5817).
30 Die Schmalkaldischen Artikel, in: BSLK 456,3-5.
31 WA 24,30, Z. 25ff. (Predigten 1527); vgl. auch WA 12, 450, Z. 5-8 (Predigten 1523).
32 Vgl. CO 23, 16.
33 Zu den Einzelnachweisen siehe Krusche (Anm. 2), 15ff.
34 Vgl. aaO 95ff.
35 Yves Congar, Der Heilige Geist, Freiburg/Br. 1982, 311f.
36 Vgl. OS III,69, Z. 11 und 70, Z. 5
37 Vgl. etwa Otto Weber, Grundlagen der Dogmatik I, Neukirchen-Vluyn 41964, 266-273.
38 Vgl. das oben, S. 490 zum, Extra nos Christi' Gesagte.
39 Johannes Calvin, Kleiner Abendmahlstraktat (1541), in: Calvin-Studienausgabe 1.2, 493.

 

 

Michael Beintker het teologie studeer in Jena en Halle/Saale in die voormalige Duitse Demokratiese Republiek en doseer Sistematiese Teologie aan die Teologiese Fakulteit van die Martin-Luther-Universiteit Halle-Wittenberg tot 1992. Sedert 1992 is hy professor in Sistematiese Teologie en Direkteur van die Seminar für Reformierte Theologie aan die Universiteit van Münster in Duitsland. In 2004 word 'n eredoktorsgraad aan hom toegeken deur die Reformierte Theologische Universität Debrecen, Hongarye. Sy navorsing en publikasies fokus op sentrale temas uit die Dogmatiek in die konteks van die gereformeerde belydenis en denke. Met name interesseer hy hom in die 16de eeuse reformatoriese teologie. Wat die kontemporêre tyd betref, staan veral Karl Barth en sy teologiese nalatenskap in die blikpunt. Prof Beintker is lid van talle vakkundige verenigings, kerklike kommissies en is medepresident van die Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa. Hy dien op die redaksie van die Zeitschrift für Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte en Unio und Confessio en is redakteur van die Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche. Hierbenewens speel hy 'n leidinggewende rol in die ontwerp en ontwikkeling van teologiese programme en opleiding in Duitsland.

Michael Beintker studied Theology in Jena and Halle/Saale in the former German Democratic Republic and taught Systematic Theology at the Theological Faculty of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg until 1992. Since 1992 he is professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Seminar für Reformierte Theologie at the University of Münster in Germany. In 2004 the Reformierte Theologische Universität Debrecen, Hungary, awarded him an honorary doctoral degree. His research and publications focus on central themes in Systematic Theology within the context of the reformed confession and thinking. The 16th century reformational theology plays a key role in this regard. His interest in contemporary theology concentrates on Karl Barth and his legacy and influence. Prof Beintker is a member of several academic societies, ecclesiastical commissions and is at present co-president of the Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa. He serves on the editorial boards of the Zeitschrift für Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte and Unio und Confessio, and he is editor of the Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche. He also plays a leading role in the design and development of theological programmes and training in Germany.

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