Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gleanings from Calvin

After reading the Prefatory Address to King Francis and the first four chapters of Calvin's Institutes, I am impressed with his knowledge of Scripture (it would take me a long time to be able to prooftext that good!), his hatred of anabaptists, and his vision of God. Here are a few excerpts on the last topic:
"For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by his fatherly care, that he is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond him--they will never yield him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to him." (II. 1)

"For the pious mind . . . restrains itself from sinning, not out of dread of punishment alone; but, because it loves and reveres God as Father, it worships and adores him as Lord. Even if there were no hell, it would still shudder at offending him alone." (II.2)

"Accordingly, whoever heedlessly indulges himself, his fear of heavenly judgment extinguished, denies that there is a God." (IV.2)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

David, as you work through Calvin, it would be interesting to get your take on how the particular Bible texts available to Calvin influenced (or not) his Institutes. It was a question raised, but far from resolved in the seminar I participated in.