Descendit ad [in] inferna:‘A matter of no small moment in bringing about redemption’

  • J Buitendag

Abstract

This article endorses Calvin’s conviction that the ‘descendit ad inferna’ of the Apostles’ Creed is part of the ‘summary of doctrine‘ and a matter of ‘no small moment in bringing about redemption‘ (Calvin 1960:Inst. II, xvi, 8). The reason for this role, however, is not Calvin’s metaphorical interpretation of the clause. Instead, the author tries to argue that a scientifi c theological approach will maintain the clause because of its transcendence of fi nitude and the proclamation of Christ’s victory. The
whole of creation is delivered from sin. Proper hermeneutics will take the original socio–historical environment into account and make one suspicious about certain ecclesiastical biases. Spatial terms
in the Creed should therefore not be demythologised, but rather be transformed in accordance with the insights of the contemporary physics of time and space.
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eISSN: 2072-8050
print ISSN: 0259-9422