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基督徒世界观 译介圣经神学





2010-06-10 00:52:00|  分类: 改革宗神学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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葛菲罗 博士 着
首次登载于Evangelium, Vol. 3, Issue 5
唐兴 译

Real Calvinism: A Head and Heart Religion

by W. Robert Godfrey, Ph.D.
First published in Evangelium, Vol. 3, Issue 5
Chinese Translation by Hsing Tang


“Strong on doctrine and scholarship, but weak on life, evangelism and passion.” Too frequently this is the popular image of Calvinism. Contemporary Calvinists may sometimes be responsible for perpetuating this image. In their eagerness for theological precision some Calvinists seem to want to turn their churches into theological debating societies. To the extent the popular image is accurate, contemporary Calvinists have ceased to be genuine Calvinists.

Real Calvinists are as concerned about heart religion as they are about head religion. That is to say they are as concerned about the life of faith as they are about doctrinal orthodoxy.

In America today much evangelical religion seems so concerned about religious experience that it tends to neglect the importance of doctrinal truth. But this imbalance in evangelicalism should not lead to an imbalance in Calvinism. True Calvinism knows that sound doctrine is and must be life changing.

John Calvin said that true religion was born of piety. He defined piety as “that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces.” (Inst. I,ii,1) Knowledge of God’s truth is foundational, but it always bears fruit in reverence and love. The distinctive truth that Calvinism finds in the Bible leads to a distinctive piety, life and worship.

In History

这种信念并非局限于加尔文或是第一代的加尔文派人士。整个归正运动的历史曾经一再重申:要同时委身于思想和情感的敬虔。西元1563年所写的《海德堡教理问答》(The Heidelberg Catechism),强而有力地陈述了这个事实。热情而有活力的敬虔是这个教理问答独特的标记之一。它重复地问:“此教义对你有什麽益处?”
That conviction was not limited to Calvin or the first generation of Calvinists. Again and again throughout the history of the Reformed movement the commitment to a religion of both the head and heart has been reasserted. The Heidelberg Catechism, written in 1563, powerfully demonstrates that fact. Warm, vital piety is one of the distinguishing marks of the catechism. Repeatedly it asks, “How does this doctrine profit you?”

我们可以在17世纪的荷兰改革宗神学家,福特司(Gisbertus Voetius)身上,发现这种执着于思想和情感的敬虔。他是当代伟大的经院神学家,非常注重神学的准确性。但是,他也非常重视充满活力的敬虔。他出版的第一部著作就是“信仰力量的明证(Proof of the Power of Godliness)。”他成为神学教授的就职演说题目,可以说是其生命热忱的总结:“论知识与敬虔的结合”(On knowledge joined with piety)。
In the seventeenth century we can find an example of this commitment to head and heart religion in the Dutch Reformed theologian Gisbertus Voetius. He was one of the great scholastic theologians of his era and was very concerned with accurate theology. But he was also very concerned about vital religion. His first published work was “Proof of the Power of Godliness.” The title of his inaugural lecture as professor of theology summarized the passion of his life: “On knowledge joined with piety.”

福特司的信念与英国清教徒非常相似。他们通常引用《以弗所书》5:15,作为他们所专注的基础:“你们要谨慎行事,不要像愚昧人,当像智慧人。”对清教徒来说,基督徒的生活必须是一个受察验的生活。他们立志要审慎地对待基督徒的信仰内容和生活方式,这种委身非常重要。清教徒在《西敏斯特信仰告白》和《大小教理问答》(the Westminster Confession and Catechisms)中,为他们精辟的观点做了总结。在这些关键性的文献中,我们可以看到他们不但关心教义的真理,也同样注意具有活力和圣洁的生活。
Voetius had a conviction very much like that of the Puritans in Great Britain. They often referred to Ephesians 5:15 as a foundation of their concerns: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” For the Puritans, the Christian life must be an examined life. The commitment to being careful in what Christians believe and how they live is crucial. The Puritans summarized their insights in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. In these key documents we can see they are as concerned about vital and holy lives as they are about doctrinal truth.

美国的加尔文主义也有相似的信念。西元1812年,美国第一所长老会神学院——普林斯顿神学院( Princeton Theological Seminary)的建校文献中,就包括了这样的声明:“有学术而无热忱,有热忱而无学术,最终都必会危害到教会。”普林斯顿神学院以及其继承者之一——加州西敏斯特神学院——认识到热忱和学术,对健康的教会都是重要的。有学术而无热忱,是冷酷无情的,会变成死气沉沉的理性主义(rationalism);有热忱而无学术,则是无知识的情感主义(emotionalism)。
American Calvinism has had a similar conviction. The founding documents of Princeton Theological Seminary, the first Presbyterian seminary founded in America in 1812, include the statement: “learning without zeal and zeal without learning must ultimately prove injurious to the church.” Princeton Seminary – and Westminster California as one of its successors – recognized that both zeal and learning were important for the well-being of the church. Learning without zeal is cold and tends to deadness and rationalism. Zeal without learning is uninformed emotionalism.

In Scripture

This Calvinistic conviction about the importance of head and heart religion is of course derived from the Scriptures. One place where we can see that clearly is in Psalm 45, where we are told that the mission of God’s great king is this: “In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness” (v. 4.) These three elements – truth, humility and righteousness – summarize the interdependence of orthodoxy and vitality in Biblical and Reformed religion.

Psalm 45 is a celebration of God’s great and blessed king. This king is blessed in his blameless character (vs. 2,7,8). He is the one who always loves the good and hates the evil. This king is blessed in his bountiful conquest (vs. 3-6,16). He will be victorious over all his enemies in God’s cause. And he is blessed in his beautiful consort (vs. 9-15). He finds joy, beauty and purity in his bride.

The picture of this king is an ideal of what kingship should be. No actual king in Israel ever fully measured up to this ideal. But the psalm celebrates how the king should fulfill the vision of the true and faithful king described in Deuteronomy 17:18-20, “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.”

Here in Deuteronomy – as in Psalm 45 – the king exalts truth, humility and righteousness. The king upholds the truth of God’s word, which he has ever with him and meditates on every day. He expresses the humility of one who does not exalt himself above his brothers, but identifies with them. He lives out the righteousness of God’s law, deviating neither to the right nor to the left.

In Christ

This ideal of kingship is fulfilled only in Jesus Christ. He alone is the great and blessed king described in Deuteronomy 17 and Psalm 45. We see that clearly in Revelation 19:9,11,16, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!...I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war….On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” His name is true. As a lamb he is humble. He is righteous and just in his victory.

This glorious king, according to Psalm 45:4 is not only true, humble and righteous in himself. He rides to victory that his people may also manifest these virtues. He is building a kingdom in which his subjects too will be true, humble and righteous.

In Christ we as his people are called to the truth. Truth is not an optional extra for the people of God. In his Great Commission Jesus instructed his apostles to teach disciples to obey all that he had commanded them. True disciples are eager to know the fullness of God’s revelation in Christ. Jesus is not a minimalist when it comes to truth and neither must his followers be. That is why we at Westminster California spend so much time and energy teaching future ministers to know and teach the Word.

In Christ we are called to humility. This virtue is not always well represented in the Reformed community. Too often a confidence in our learning and orthodoxy has made us proud. That pride does not commend our cause to others. By prayer, confession and hard work, we need to cultivate a spirit of love for others and an eagerness to share what we have. Humility is not pretending that truth is unimportant. It is listening to others and growing in recognizing that they too have the Spirit of God and that we can learn from them how to serve the Lord and his people.

In Christ we are called to righteousness. This righteousness in the first place is the perfect righteousness of Christ himself imputed to us for our justification and received by faith alone. But this righteousness is also the sanctifying righteousness that Christ progressively works in his people. In Christ we will be a people growing in holiness.


这种信念就是加州西敏斯特神学院(Westminster Seminary California)事工的基础。我们所致力的,是受到良好教育和充满活力的事奉。同时关切思想(纯正的教义)以及情感(信心的生活),是非常重要的。今日的教会似乎对教育漠不关心,只关切牧师在领导和激励会众方面,是否有热忱,“有效率”。但是,牧师是被呼召出来,要成为神话语的职事。若要忠心地传讲神的话,他们就必须能够研读神的话;为了研读神的话,他们就必须了解希腊文和希伯来文,知道圣经研究和神学的历史,认识教会的信仰告白。那些仅仅研读英文圣经而传讲信息,并且不清楚历史上基督教神学思想的人,可能会带领教会误入歧途。他们往往不是真正的谦卑。他们也许认为,他们对教育的漠不关心是谦卑的标记,但是实际上,坚持其事工不需要依靠其他的教会和其他教会的智慧,乃是他们的骄傲——认为他们可以独自完成事工。这种心态导致了无数教义上的错误,搅扰着美国的教会。
This conviction is the foundation of the work of Westminster Seminary California. We strive for a well-educated and vital ministry. It is essential to be concerned about both the head, sound doctrine, as well as the heart, the life of faith. Some churches today seem indifferent to education and only concerned that a minister be enthusiastic and “effective” in leading and inspiring people. But ministers are called to be ministers of the Word. To preach the Word faithfully they must be able to study the Word. For that study they need to know something of Greek and Hebrew, of the history of Biblical studies and theology, and of the confessions of the church. Those who simply preach from their study of the English translations and have little knowledge of the history of Christian theological reflection are likely to lead the church astray. They often are not really humble. They may suggest that their indifference to education is a sign of humility, but actually they are proudly maintaining that they do not need the rest of the church and its wisdom in their work – but that they can go it on their own. That attitude has resulted in innumerable doctrinal errors that beset American churches.

《多特法典》(The Canons of Dort)的结论,强调了改革宗对教义在基督徒生活中正当功能的认识:“这个大会激励所有基督福音的传道弟兄们,在学术机构以及在众教会里,以敬虔与虔诚的心来对待这个教训;如此做,不论是用口还是用笔,是为了神之名的荣耀,灵命的圣洁,并叫不安的灵魂……”纯正的教义不但荣耀神,也帮助神的子民。神的子民确实会受真理的激励,生出真正的信心;而真正的信心就会在他们的生活中生出圣洁和安慰。
The conclusion of the Canons of Dort highlights the Reformed understanding of the proper function of doctrine in the life of the Christian community: “This Synod exhorts all their brethren in the gospel of Christ to conduct themselves piously and religiously in handling this doctrine, both in the universities and churches; to direct it, as well in discourse as in writing, to the glory of the Divine name, to holiness of life, and to the consolation of afflicted souls….” Pure doctrine both glorifies God and helps the people of God. God’s people are indeed encouraged by the truth to true faith which produces holiness and comfort in their lives.


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