© 2006

Divinity compromised

A study of divine accommodation in the thought of john calvin

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About this book


This book is the first monograph devoted to the theme of divine accommodation in the writings of John Calvin to appear in any language. The work offers careful analysis of the topic along several different lines: it analyzes the character of Calvin’s thinking on accommodation. It gives an account of the ways in which accommodation expresses itself in his writings. It probes the question of the penetration of accommodation into Calvin’s theology and particularly its implications for his doctrine of God. And it compares Calvin’s handling of accommodation with that of other exegetes in order to set his thinking in context.

In pursuing these matters, Dr Balserak provides a rigorous consideration of many of the individual places in Calvin’s corpus where he discusses accommodation. This enables him to set out a summary of the basic qualities which characterize Calvin’s handling of the motif. The addition of chapters on the relationship of Calvin’s thought on accommodation to his use of the potentia absoluta/ordinata distinction and on the influence of accommodation on his views on the truth and applicability of Scripture allows this study to examine its topic from different angles. This, coupled with the thoroughness of the author’s analysis, results in a work which offers a substantial reassessment of Calvin's thinking on divine accommodation.


Bible Calvin Exegesis Reformation theology

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"Balserak's study is important because he gives, compared with what was written in the past, a clear image of the multiform importance of God's accommodation for Calvin." (Wulfert de Greef,

"Ce livre solide, intelligent, clair est une contribution importante aux études sur Calvin, mais aussi à une réflexion sur la révélation. L'érudition qu'il déploie sans lourdeur rend service à la pensée théologique." (André Gounelle, in Études Théologiques et Réligieuses 2007/4)

"The present study is a revision of the author’s doctoral thesis completed under David F. Wright (University of Edinburgh), and is the first monograph-length treatment of Calvin’s understanding of divine accommodation. … Balserak’s analysis of Calvin’s understanding of accommodation is an important contribution to Calvin studies. … Balserak’s work should prove of value to both students and scholars of Calvin who are seeking a clear and concise presentation of the topic." (John T. Slotemaker, Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. XXXIX (2), 2008)