Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2 The Institutes: God Plainly Revealed to All

As he opens chapter 5 of The Institutes, John Calvin notes what every five-year-old knows... that the universe was made by God, and that its beauty and awesome scale are a testament to the glory and supremacy of its maker. My children are eloquent in their praise of God's wondrous creation, and have been since they could say the words "The Lord God made it all". Why does society desire to crush the correct understanding of these mere babes, and even destroy the foundation of their hope? Pride. There is NO other explanation. Pride and the idolatry of self, and of man in community.

Calvin writes that the Lord's handiwork is evident to the most brutish of men, to the most infantile of children.
But upon his individual works he has engraved unmistakable marks of his glory, so clear and so prominent that even unlettered and stupid folk cannot plead the excuse of ignorance. Therefore the prophet very aptly exclaims that he is "clad with light as with a garment" [Ps. 104:2 p.]. It is as if he said: Thereafter the Lord began to show himself in the visible splendor of his apparel, ever since in the creation of the universe he brought forth those insignia whereby he shows his glory to us, whenever and wherever we cast our gaze.
Even the common folk and the most untutored, who have been taught only by the aid of the eyes, cannot be unaware of the excellence of divine art, for it reveals itself in this innumerable and yet distinct and well-ordered variety of the heavenly host. It is, accordingly, clear that there is no one to whom the Lord does not abundantly show his wisdom. (p. 52-53, Institutes of the Christian Religion)
Furthermore, as Calvin notes, the human body - the gloriously complex and gifted body that God has given each of us - is the most clear witness of the power, wisdom and goodness of God.
The child at his mother's breast, Calvin writes, is the most eloquent of speakers of praise of God. As I watched with tear-filled eyes (tears of joy and praise of God Almighty) my youngest daughter, sick with a nasty cold, cuddled up on my wife's belly, nursing away for comfort and nourishment, I saw what Calvin notes - eloquent praise of the Lord for his perfect provision of a child's needs. Naomi knows what we must; God in Heaven is our hope, and His providential care of His children is a gracious gift.

Yet we, in our "wisdom" have decided that we know best, and that the creation cannot give evidence to His hand being in its fashioning from nothing. It is a pitiable loss, and a testament to the magnitude of man's arrogance - a danger to the souls of children as they are taught, virtually from the get-go, that God must be removed from sight and smushed into the recesses of the church corner, back behind the last pew, there to be "clung to" by the ignorant masses. What a pathetic state of affairs this is.


David Porter said...


I deeply appreciated your courage to display your heart in this post.

Furthermore, I am enjoying your insights into Calvin's Institutes.

Todd said...

Thank you, David :) I'm glad to share with whoever will read - Calvin is surely a treasure trove of good thought and worthy reflection.


In Principio ... Deus Copyright © 2011 - |- Template created by O Pregador - |- Powered by Blogger Templates