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God Himself in His Very Substance

The Reformed Reception of the Beatific Vision: Zwingli, Calvin, and the Westminster Standards

Michael Allen laments, “A survey of the vast terrain of modern Protestant divinity evinces a deep abyss: the doctrine of the beatific vision has dropped into oblivion.”[1] Furthermore, he observes, “While eschatology has moved front and center in twentieth-century Protestant theology, the beatific vision appears to have exited stage right.”[2] Hans Boersma similarly laments the fact that “the notion of the beatific vision has increasingly come to be regarded as curious and unconvincing” within Catholic and Protestant theology.[3] Convinced departure from traditional Christian teaching about humanity’s chief end is adverse to healthy spirituality, Boersma and Allen seek to retrieve the doctrine for the sake of renewal. They are especially concerned for its recovery within the Reformed tradition.

To Shun or Embrace? The Westminster Standards

Owen Anderson expresses a very different view. He claims “the Reformed Tradition and especially the Westminster Confession of Faith affirm that God is only known in his works, in that way in which he determines to reveal Himself. This rules out the possibility of a beatific vision. The essence of God cannot be seen.”[4] (Although, Anderson recently expressed openness to the possibility that a Christological construal of the beatific vision may be compatible with Reformed theology.) Expressing a related sentiment, R. Carlton Wynne insists Christians ought to shun rather than embrace Boersma’s retrieval of patristic and medieval concepts “as harboring unbiblical Neoplatonic influences and to hold firmly to biblical theism as expounded in Reformed confessionalism.”[5]

These claims are curious since The Westminster Confession clearly and explicitly affirms the beatific vision and alludes to the originally Neoplatonic notion that all things come from God (exitus) and return to him (reditus).The Westminster Confession clearly affirms the beatific vision and alludes to the originally Neoplatonic notion that all things come from God (exitus) and return to him (reditus). Click To Tweet “The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls (which neither die nor sleep), having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies” (WCF 32.1).

Question 86 of the Westminster Larger Catechism uses similar language. And Question 90 goes further, teaching the righteous will be “filled with inconceivable joys (Ps. 16:11), made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels (Heb. 12:22–23), but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 4:17–18)” (emphasis added). This is a traditional formulation of the beatific vision of the sort that permeates medieval theological and mystical literature back to Augustine. Like the exitus-reditus theme, “fruition of God” is an originally Neoplatonic concept Christians appropriated to express biblically-grounded convictions about humanity’s ultimate end.[6] The Confession itself mentions this concept: “The distance between God and the creature is so great [that]… they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part” (WCF 7.1).[7]

The Westminster divines confessed the hope of beatific vision in continuity with their patristic and medieval forbears. Click To Tweet The Westminster divines confessed the hope of beatific vision in continuity with their patristic and medieval forbears. Any doubt about their intent is readily dispelled by consulting the divines’ individual writings. Therein one encounters many approving citations on the topic from the Cappadocian Fathers, Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Aquinas, Bonaventure and other figures sometimes alleged to have been unduly influenced by Neoplatonism. Furthermore, in the seventeenth century the beatific vision was not a doctrine familiar only to ivory tower theologians. Rather, as Joshua Schendel shows, “the doctrine seems to have been common enough in the theological discourse of the time that pastors and scriptural exegetes could reference it without feeling the need to expound it in great detail.”[8]

Deification and the Beatific Vision

Andrew Louth observes that some Christian traditions today speak of the beatific vision in terms of deification and transfiguration “while other traditions shun these terms, fearful of eliding in some way the fundamental distinction between Creator and creature.”[9] Most Reformed theologians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries fell squarely in the second camp. They typically eschewed deification or theosis for two reasons. First, influential histories of dogma erroneously equated deification with the kind of pantheism or undifferentiated union with God sometimes taught by radical sects and certain forms of German idealism. it comes as no surprise that Reformed theologians who eschewed deification tended to also neglect the beatific vision or, at most, affirm a minimalist version of the doctrine. Click To Tweet Second, the same histories caricature patristic teaching about deification as a crude, physical theory of redemption that represents the apex of the Hellenization of Christianity. It was portrayed by Protestant Liberals as an exotic, Eastern doctrine largely absent from and incompatible with the Western theological tradition, especially its Protestant expressions.[10] “Historically, the doctrine of the beatific vision went hand in hand with theologies of deification and participation with God.”[11] So, it comes as no surprise that Reformed theologians who eschewed deification tended to also neglect the beatific vision or, at most, affirm a minimalist version of the doctrine.

In the last two decades, Reformed theologians have begun to talk about the beatific vision in hand with deification and participation in God.[12] Michael Horton, for example, concludes an edited volume in Reformed dogmatics saying, “in Reformed theology, deification and the beatific vision converge in the glorification-resurrection that leads us into God’s Sabbath rest.”[13] Whereas modern Reformed theologians were once almost universally leery of deification, today one increasingly finds it affirmed as a distinct doctrinal locus within their systematic theologies.[14] Four developments in scholarship lie behind this shift.

Four Developments towards a Reformed affirmation of the Beatific Vision

First, it has been shown that patristic and medieval theologians almost always affirmed deification in ways that firmly maintain the creator-creature distinction. Most of the medieval mystical writers did as well, florid hyperbole notwithstanding.[15]

Second, the theory of patristic theology’s fall into Hellenistic philosophy has not withstood careful scrutiny from first-rate historians of doctrine like Jaroslav Pelikan and classicists like C.J. de Vogel.[16] Scholars have also shown its shortcomings with respect to other discrete doctrines that supposedly prove Hellenism corrupted the gospel.[17]

Third, numerous studies now exist which unequivocally show the presence of deification in the theologies of influential patristic, medieval, and early Protestant figures in the West. It is now clear that deification is – and always has been – an ecumenical doctrine of the universal church.[18]

Fourth, scholars have shown that the origins of the patristic doctrine are to be found not in Hellenistic philosophy but in scripture and certain interpretive traditions early Christians inherited from Second Temple Judaism.[19] While patristic writers appropriated Hellenistic conceptual language to express it, the doctrine rests upon a firm biblical foundation.

When theologians like Hans Boersma and Michael Horton unpack humanity’s chief end in terms of the beatific vision and deification, they are not importing exotic doctrines into the garden of Reformed theology. Rather, they are recovering a biblical vision of ultimate salvation taught by Huldrych Zwingli, Johannes Oecolampadeus, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and other foundational figures within the Reformed tradition. Consider the following from Zwingli and Calvin.[20]

God Himself in His Very Substance: Huldrych Zwingli

Three months before his death in 1531, Huldrych Zwingli prepared what turned out to be the final exposition of his Reformed convictions. Heinrich Bullinger posthumously published it in 1536 as A Short and Clear Exposition of the Christian Faith. In this work, Zwingli describes the beatific vision as the hope of seeing “God Himself in His very substance, in His nature and with all His endowments and powers, and to enjoy all these, not sparingly but in full measure, not with the cloying effect that generally accompanies satiety, but with that agreeable completeness which involves no surfeiting.”[21] Zwingli depicts the experience of beatific vision like an appetite that is completely filled, but not to the unpleasant excess of gluttony. It is like perpetually feeling just right after a scrumptious meal served in the perfectly right proportions. This experience will never end because “The good which we shall enjoy is infinite and the infinite cannot be exhausted; therefore no one can become surfeited with it, for it is ever new and yet the same.”[22]

Zwingli describes the beatific vision in terms of an experience of perpetual progress and ever-surpassing enjoyment of God that never grows old. Click To TweetZwingli describes the beatific vision in terms of an experience of perpetual progress and ever-surpassing enjoyment of God that never grows old. Zwingli’s description of the eternal state probably reflects the influence of Gregory of Nyssa who referred to this idea as epectasis (ἐπέκτασις). Epectasis is one of the ways Gregory expounds the common patristic teaching that believers will be deified by virtue of their union with Christ. In a similar manner, Zwingli’s description of epectasis expounds a doctrine of deification that he earlier inscribed in the first formal statement of Reformed theology, the Sixty-Seven Articles (1523). Article XIII affirms: “Where this (the head) is hearkened to one learns clearly and plainly the will of God, and man is attracted by his spirit to him and changed into him.”[23] Six months later Zwingli published an exposition of the Articles in which he explains what this means.

Elaborating on Article XIII, Zwingli alludes to 2 Corinthians 3:18, saying, “that a person is drawn to God by God’s Spirit and deified, becomes quite clear from scripture.” “Deified” is the modern translator’s attempt to capture the sense of Zwingli’s German which can be more literally rendered as transformed, changed, or converted into God (in got verwandlet). The Swiss Reformer continues: “one must be drawn to God and deified (in inn verwandlet) so that we might be fully emptied, cleaned and able to deny ourselves, no longer trusting in our own mind, heart and works but putting all our confidence in God our sole hope to which we cling. For thus we are being transformed into God (in gott verwandlet).”[24] Writing in Latin a few years later, Zwingli similarly described the apex of human perfection as transformative union with God in his Commentary on True and False Religion (1525).[25]

Zwingli does not suggest believers become deities, lose their identity in God’s being, or otherwise compromise the distinction between Creator and creature. Even so, Zwingli’s language is daring. His German and Latin phrases echo formulas that were sometimes subject to controversy in Meister Eckhart, Matthew of Aquasparta, Henry of Ghent, John Gerson, Nicholas of Cusa, and others. Zwingli was well-read in medieval theology, so he undoubtedly knew that. Nonetheless, he used this language to articulate a bold doctrine of beatific vision, epectasis, and deifying transformation which he inscribed into the foundations of the Reformed tradition.

The Complete and Perfect Glory of God: John Calvin

John Calvin’s reputation in the popular mind is such that one might expect objection to the idea that believers will be “transformed into God.” To the contrary, Calvin twice went out of his way to affirm it. When preparing the second edition of the Institutes in 1539, Calvin added a passage near the beginning wherein he indicates Plato rightly understood “the highest good of the soul is likeness to God, where, when the soul has grasped the knowledge of God, it is wholly transformed into him (in ipsum tota transformatur).”[26] This statement was retained in all subsequent editions. In 1543, Calvin added a paragraph to the preface of Pierre Robert Olivétan’s translation of the New Testament. In it he says, “What more would we ask for, as spiritual doctrine for our souls, than to know God, to be converted to him (transformez in luy), and to have his glorious image imprinted in us, so that we may partake of his righteousness, to become heirs of his Kingdom and to possess it in the end in full?”[27] Calvin even spoke this way when preaching to laity.[28]

John Calvin said Plato rightly understood “the highest good of the soul is likeness to God, where, when the soul has grasped the knowledge of God, it is wholly transformed into him.” Click To TweetCalvin’s most extensive discussion of the beatific vision is found in the Psychopannychia. The first draft of this important but often overlooked book was written before the Institutes. On the advice of Martin Bucer and Wolfgang Capito, Calvin delayed publication in order to make revisions. By the time he returned to this project, Calvin had published two editions of the Institutes, his commentary on Romans, and various shorter works. The Psychopannychia presents a doctrine of beatific vision that breaks from the typical Latin teaching that the faithful immediately experience the full beatific vision upon death (or release from purgatory). Rather, following the Greek Fathers, Augustine, and Bernard of Clairvaux, Calvin says the souls of the righteous are led into a “place of peace, where, while wholly intent on beholding God, they have nothing better to which they can turn their eyes or direct their desire.”[29] They do not experience impatience but their rest is not yet full and perfect because “something is wanting which they desire to see, namely, the complete and perfect glory of God, to which they always aspire.”[30] The faithful do, nonetheless, enjoy the presence of God and see him in some measure while resting in the hope of resurrection.[31] However, the resurrection will bestow even richer blessings.

The richer blessings Calvin has in mind are those that patristic writers refer to as deification. He says “participation in the glory of God” will exalt the bodies of departed saints “above nature” (supra naturam evehet).[32] The elect will not be as Adam was before sin but will be “renewed by Christ to a better nature” in which they experience “the highest degree of immortality.”[33] They will not merely experience the created immortality natural to the soul but will be, body and soul, “partakers of the Divine glory” and “partakers of a Divine immortality.”[34]

Calvin bequeathed the Reformed tradition a pervasively Trinitarian doctrine of beatific vision and deification that is grounded in Scripture and which stands in continuity with patristic theology. Click To TweetCalvin similarly pairs the beatific vision with deification in several of his other writings. A concise example appears in his commentary on Roman 5:2. Calvin writes: “The hope of the glory of God has shone upon us by the Gospel, which testifies that we shall be partakers of the divine nature, for when we shall see God face to face, we shall be like him (II Pet. 1.4; I John 3.2).”[35] Later, commenting on 8:3, Calvin employs a variation of the patristic exchange formula: “Christ took to Himself what was ours in order that He might transfer what was His to us, for He took upon Himself our curse, and has given us His blessing.”[36] Several variations on the exchange formula are found across Calvin’s corpus, reflecting the deep influence patristic writers like Irenaeus, Cyril of Alexandria, and Augustine had on his soteriology. In these patristic writers, the exchange formula “teaches deification without actually employing the word.”[37] There can be little doubt Calvin meant it the same way.

According to 2 Peter 1:4, God’s divine power “has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature.” Commenting on this verse, Calvin says, “We should notice that it is the purpose of the Gospel to make us sooner or later like God; indeed it is, so to speak, a kind of deification.”[38] The older translation conveys the verbal idea more adequately: “Let us then mark, that the end of the gospel is, to render us eventually conformable to God, and, if we may so speak, to deify us (quasi deificari).”[39] Calvin’s comments on the previous verse link deification with the faithful being clothed with God’s glory, endowed with his power, restored in his glorious image, and God himself being possessed by the faithful in such a way that what is his becomes theirs by grace.

Calvin goes on to distinguish the kind of deification he finds in 2 Peter 1:4 from two alternatives. First, he insists the word “nature” does not denote God’s essence but kind. Therefore, this verse does not mean “we cross over into God’s nature so that His nature absorbs ours” as some “fanatics” assert. The distinction between Creator and creature is inviolable. What the apostles were concerned to teach, he insists, is that “when we have put off all the vices of the flesh we shall be partakers of divine immortality and the glory of blessedness, and thus we shall be in a way one with God so far as our capacity allows.”[40] Second, Calvin acknowledges the similarity between Christian deification and Plato’s teaching that the highest human good is conformity to God (Theaetetus 176b). The similarity does not bother Calvin. He acknowledges “this teaching was not unfamiliar to Plato,” but the venerable philosopher was “wrapped up in the fog of errors, and afterward he slipped away into his own invented ideas.”[41]

Calvin was not concerned with expunging every trace of Platonic influence from Christian theology in an effort to be “biblical,” as if pagan philosophers were incapable of getting anything right. Click To TweetIn the Institutes Calvin likewise affirmed that “Plato recognized man’s highest good as union with God.” However, Plato “could not even dimly sense its nature. And no wonder, for he had learned nothing of the sacred bond of that union.”[42] What is that bond? Calvin never tires of telling readers that the bond of our union with God is Jesus Christ and the bond of our union with Christ is the Holy Spirit. Commenting on 1 Peter 2:4, Calvin refers to Plato’s doctrine of beatific vision in order to make an argument from lesser to greater. “Now, it must be the case that the grace of God draws us all to Himself and inflames us with the love of Him by whom we obtain a real perception of it. If Plato affirms this of his Beautiful, of which he saw only a shadowy idea from afar off, this is much more true with regard to God.”[43] What Plato recognized but could only see dimly is fully revealed in Christ; only in union with Christ can it be obtained.

A pervasively Trinitarian doctrine

Calvin bequeathed the Reformed tradition a pervasively Trinitarian doctrine of beatific vision and deification that is grounded in Scripture and which stands in continuity with patristic theology. He did not deny similarities between Platonic and Christian teaching about the beatific vision and deification, but he also identified crucial points of difference. Nor was he concerned with expunging every trace of Platonic influence from Christian theology in an effort to be “biblical,” as if pagan philosophers were incapable of getting anything right. He knew that to be the deficient theological method employed by antitrinitarians like Michael Servetus. The nineteenth-century historians of dogma could have learned a lesson from Geneva’s Reformer.


[1] Michael Allen, Grounded in Heaven: Recentering Christian Hope and Life on God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), 59.

[2] Allen, Grounded in Heaven, 61.

[3] Hans Boersma, Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in Christian Tradition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), 27. Though historically a minority position within the Reformed tradition, Allen and Boersma both incline toward a Christological understanding of the beatific vision indebted to John Owen and Jonathan Edwards.

[4] Owen Anderson, Reason and Faith in the Theology of Charles Hodge (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 127.

[5] R. Carlton Wynne, review of Seeing God by Hans Boersma and Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition by Craig A. Carter, Themelios 44/1 (2019): 171.

[6] “Fruition” is derived from the Latin verb frui, often translated “enjoyment.” The theological concept of enjoyment or fruition is a thicker notion than the colloquial sense of enjoyment familiar to modern readers. The Westminster divines chose this terminology informed by medieval usage and discussion, on which, see Severin Valentinov Kitanov, Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014).

[7] The Shorter Catechism probably has the concept of fruition in view as well in its famous opening line: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

[8] Joshua Schendel, “The Reformed Orthodox and the Visio Dei,” Reformed Theological Review 77/1 (2018): 32.

[9] Andrew Louth, Foreword to Boersma, Seeing God, xiii.

[10] This caricature was popularized by Albrecht Ritschl, Wilhelm Herrmann, Adolf von Harnack, and others associated with the Ritschlian school of theology. The Ritschlian caricature of deification served as the linchpin of an elaborate apologetic for a distinctively Germanic Christianity emancipated from the dogmas of the Incarnation and Trinity. See further Carl Mosser, “An Exotic Flower? Calvin and the Patristic Doctrine of Deification,” in Reformation Faith: Exegesis and Theology in the Protestant Reformations, ed. Michael Parsons (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2014), 40-44; idem, “Orthodox–Reformed Dialogue and the Ecumenical Recovery of Theosis,” The Ecumenical Review 73/1 (2021): 134-39; and Mark McInroy, “How Deification Became Eastern: German Idealism, Liberal Protestantism, and the Modern Misconstruction of the Doctrine,” Modern Theology 37/4 (2021): 934-58.

[11] Boersma, Seeing God, 31. For this reason it is odd that deification is nowhere discussed in Allen, Grounded in Heaven.

[12] For an accessible explanation of this doctrine designed for laypersons and ministers who are unfamiliar with it or may find its terminology jarring, see Carl Mosser, “Deification: A Truly Ecumenical Doctrine,” Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought 30/4 (2015): 8-14. Online:

[13] Michael Horton, “Kingdom of God,” in Christian Dogmatics: Reformed Theology for the Church Catholic, ed. Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016), 391.

[14] E.g., Oliver D. Crisp, Analyzing Doctrine: Toward a Systematic Theology (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019), 199-216; Robert Letham, Systematic Theology (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 751-89; Michael Horton, Covenant and Salvation: Union with Christ (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007), 181-215, 267-307; idem, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 689-708.

[15] Deification is typically affirmed with qualifiers like “as far as possible, “by grace,” “by adoption,” and “if we may so speak.” When expressed in terms of participation in God, it is understood that participation (methexis) is a relation that obtains between ontologically diverse entities. That which is participated in (God) is uncreated and ontologically superior to that which is created and participates (the redeemed). Additional ways the creator-creature distinction is maintained include the sunbeam and mirror analogy, the fired iron analogy, and the essence/energies distinction. I discuss these devices and a few others in Carl Mosser, “Deification and Union with God,” in T&T Clark Handbook of Analytic Theology, ed. James M. Arcadi and James T. Turner, Jr. (London: T&T Clark, 2021), 271-73, 276-77.

[16] Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, 5 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971-91); idem, Christianity and Classical Culture: The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in The Christian Encounter with Hellenism(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993); C.J. de Vogel, “Platonism and Christianity: A Mere Antagonism or a Profound Common Ground?” Vigiliae Christianae 39 (1985): 1-62.

[17] The most notable example is Paul L. Gavrilyuk, The Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[18] This is nicely illustrated by the essays collected in Jared Ortiz, ed., With All the Fullness of God: Deification in Christian Tradition(Lanham: Lexington Books / Fortress Academic, 2021).

[19] See, e.g., Norman Russell, The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 53-89; Carl Mosser, “The Earliest Patristic Interpretations of Psalm 82, Jewish Antecedents, and the Origin of Christian Deification,” Journal of Theological Studies 56/1 (2005): 30-74; and Ben C. Blackwell, Christosis: Pauline Soteriology in Light of Deification in Irenaeus and Cyril of Alexandria (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). It should go without saying that in one sense Christianity was Hellenized from the start. After all, the New Testament was written in Greek!

[20] What follows draws from more detailed discussion found in Carl Mosser, “Recovering the Reformation’s Ecumenical Vision of Redemption as Deification and Beatific Vision,” Perichoresis 18/1 (2020): 3-24 and “John Calvin and Early Reformed Theology,” in The Oxford Handbook of Deification, ed. Paul Gavrilyuk, Andrew Hofer, and Matthew Levering (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

[21] Huldrych Zwingli, A Short and Clear Exposition of the Christian Faith in William John Hinke, ed., The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli, vol. 2. (Philadelphia: The Heidelberg Press, 1922), 271.

[22] Zwingli, A Short and Clear Exposition, 271.

[23] Huldrych Zwingli, “The Sixty-Seven Articles” in Samuel Macauley Jackson, ed., Selected Works of Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531), the Reformer of German Switzerland (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1901), 112.

[24] Huldrych Zwingli, The Defense of the Reformed Faith, trans. E.J. Furcha (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick 1984), 57.

[25] Huldrych Zwingli, Commentary on True and False Religion in Clarence Nevin Heller, ed., The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli, vol. 3 (Philadelphia: The Heidelberg Press, 1929), 208.

[26] Inst. 1.3.3 in John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. J.T. McNeill and trans. F.L. Battles (Louisville: Westminster John Knox), 46-47 (corrected). Battles paraphrases Calvin’s Latin as “wholly transformed into his likeness.”

[27] John Calvin, Preface to Olivétan’s New Testament in Calvin: Commentaries, trans. J. Haroutunian (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1958), 70.

[28] In a sermon on 2 Timothy 2:16-18, Calvin says “we must lie buried in this world, knowing that Jesus Christ is not our resurrection until we are transformed into him (transformez en luy).” John Calvin, Sermons on 2 Timothy, trans. Robert White (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2018), 196 paraphrases the French clause as “changed fully into his image.”

[29] John Calvin, Psychopannychia in Calvin’s Tracts Relating to the Reformation, vol 3, trans. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1851), 435-36; cf. 468-69.

[30] Calvin, Psychopannychia, 436.

[31] Calvin, Psychopannychia, 449.

[32] Calvin, Psychopannychia, 452.

[33] Calvin, Psychopannychia, 457.

[34] Calvin, Psychopannychia, 465, 466.

[35] John Calvin, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians, trans. R. Mackenzie (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960), 105.

[36] Calvin, Romans, 160.

[37] Gerald Bonner, “Augustine’s Conception of Deification,” Journal of Theological Studies 37 (1986): 369.

[38] John Calvin, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews and The First and Second Epistles of St Peter, trans. W.B. Johnston (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963), 330.

[39] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles, trans. John Owen (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1855), 371.

[40] Calvin, First and Second Epistles of St Peter, 330.

[41] Calvin, First and Second Epistles of St Peter, 331.

[42] Inst. 3.25.2

[43] Calvin, First and Second Epistles of St Peter, 258.

Carl Mosser

Carl Mosser (Ph.D., University of St. Andrews) has served as Professor of Christian Theology at Gateway Seminary in Ontario, California, Visiting Research Professor and Analytic Theology Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, and Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University.

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