titian_portrait_of_john_calvinThis sounds like Karl Barth, but it’s not; it is none other than John Calvin, he is commenting on Philippians 2:6:

. . . As, then God is known by means of his excellences, and his works are evidences of his eternal Godhead, (Rom. I. 20,) so Christ’s divine essence is rightly proved from Christ’s majesty, which he possessed equally with the Father before he humbled himself. As to myself, at least, not even all devils would wrest this passage from me — inasmuch as there is in God a most solid argument, from his glory to his essence, which are two things that are inseparable. (John Calvin, “Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, trans. John Pringle, 56.)

The similarity I see between Barth and Calvin here is of course the apparent linkage between the theological nature of God (ad intra), and the evangelical nature of God (ad extra); that is, when we see Jesus, we see the Father (Jn 14). There is no “God behind the back of Jesus,” for Calvin; who we see is who we get . . . no surprises.

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