Original Research

Conversio Ad Docelitam: Calvyn oor bekering en Christenwees

Wim A. Dreyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a2094 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.2094 | © 2014 Wim A. Dreyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 November 2013 | Published: 08 September 2014

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Wim A. Dreyer, Department of Church History and Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Conversio ad docelitam: John Calvin on conversion and being a Christian. This contribution describes John Calvin’s understanding of what it means to be a Christian. When Calvin ‘converted’ to the Reformation in the early 1530s, the term ‘Protestant’ did not exist. There was no systematic body of doctrine or a confession you could put your signature under. So Calvin became a ‘lover of Christ’. The unity with Christ was a central part of his theology but also his personal spirituality. Calvin also understood his own conversion as a ‘conversio subita ad docelitam’, a conversion to a ‘teachable frame of mind’. Calvin’s love for Christ, his love for the Word of God and a teachable frame of mind not only defined his theology, but also his piety and spirituality.


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