Thursday, November 29, 2012

Theology word clouds: "Of The Eternal Election (etc)" in Calvin's Institutes

Looking at word clouds of systematic theology, I wanted to do something parallel to the previous New Advent article on predestination. So our next stop will be Calvin's Institutes, also available on-line. The section that is on the same general topic is "Of the eternal election, by which God has predestinated some to salvation, and others to destruction". As most of my readers will know, Calvin's teachings on this subject are considered incorrect by most Christians; that is not the point of linking them here. This word cloud summarizes that part of Calvin's Institutes (top 100 words):

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As Calvin explains his thoughts on this topic, we see that "God", "election", and "predestination" are foremost in his mind. "Rejection" and "destruction" both make the top 100 words list. "Augustine" is well-represented (roughly as much as "Paul"). While "Augustine" and "Paul" are well-represented, we see that "Christ" does not make the 100-most-used words list; neither does "Jesus". If a word cloud allows us to see a writer's emphasis, here we can start to get an objective measure whether a writing really has the same emphasis as the Bible. Again, this is not written to pick on the Calvinists; we saw similar patterns in the Roman Catholic article on the same topic, even if they do condemn several of Calvin's teachings. Despite that, the general trend remained: when the groups were talking about predestination, they generally lost sight of Christ.


Martin LaBar said...

That (and the Catholic one) are interesting, indeed.

Yes, I do my own graphics, with the help of Corel Draw.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi Martin

Thank you for the encouragement.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF