Saturday, January 17, 2009

Calvin - The Word of God is Spectacles

Just as old bleary-eyed men and those with weak vision, if you thrust before them a most beautiful volume, even if they recognize it to be some sort of writing, yet can scarcely construe two words, but with the aid of spectacles will begin to read distinctly; so Scripture, gathering up the otherwise confused knowledge of God in our minds, having dispersed our dullness, clearly shows to us the true God...(God through Scripture) not only teaches the elect to look upon a god, but also shows Himself as the God upon whom they are to look...

...however fitting it may be for man seriously to turn his eyes to contemplate God's works, since he has been placed in this most glorious theater to be a spectator of them, it is fitting that he prick up his ears to the Word, the better to profit...for true religion to shine upon us , we ought to hold that it must take its beginning from heavenly doctrine and that no one can get even the slightest taste of right and sound doctrine unless he be a pupil of Scripture...(this is) the beginning of true understanding when we reverently embrace what it pleases God there to witness of Himself...

...for the human mind because of its feebleness can in no way attain to God unless it be aided and assisted by His Sacred Word...(The Institutes I, vi, 1, 2 and4)

The Year of Calvin

This year is John Calvin's 500th birthday. And many across the blogsphere are honoring the great preacher and theologian through blog posts and essays. I thought that this year I would honor him, by studying his epic work - The Institutes. In the Institutes Calvin outlines Christian Thought and in particular Reformed Theology. As far as my reading schedule goes, there are a few plans on the web through which you can read the Institutes in a year. It is actually quite manageable, as you only read three or four pages a day. I also am answering some questions related to the chapters and reading a couple books on Calvin's life. In addition, I thought that it might be profitible for me to blog about the Institutes and the life of Calvin on his 500th year. So, I will be including some thoughts, quotes, summerizations and such on this blog. I hope it might be a helpful addition to the variety of blog posts honoring this great man who has done so much to shape reformed theology, Christian piety and pastoral ministry. Happy Birthday JC!!!