The didactic nature of Calvin’s <i>De Scandalis</i>


Stumbling Blocks


In this article the author explores the didactic nature and value of Calvin’s “De Scandalis” (1550). The reformer’s clear intention was to provide guidelines for strengthening those believers grappling with all kinds of stumbling blocks on the Christian’s path towards sanctification. Moreover, the questions that he attempted to answer are questions of faith even in the 21st century. It is argued that sound didactic principles are found throughout this publication of Calvin’s. For that reason it was – and still is – a powerful aid to those belonging to the church of Christ in dealing with the obstacles and temptations that they may experience in their spiritual lives: Biblical truths that the world may regard as foolishness; offensive and scandalous conduct by people within the church; and calumnies brought forward by adversaries of the gospel. In this context Calvin proves himself to be the catechist par excellence and an enduring example of the conscientious teacher living by the principles of Holy Scripture.

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