Thursday, January 3, 2013

Calvin's Institutes, Chapter Two

What It Is to Know God---Tendency of This Knowledge

Section One

- Knowledge of God = not just knowledge that there is a God, but what we can know of (concerning) God

- Does not mean knowledge of God as Redeemer through Christ, but knowledge of God as Adam knew Him before the fall

- Without Christ, man sees only God as Creator

- All goodness comes from God, so we must ask all things from Him and give thanks for what we have

- Piety = reverence and love for God inspired by knowledge of His goodness

- People will not willingly follow God until they realize that they owe everything to Him

Section Two

- It is in our best interest to know what sort of person God is and what makes Him happy

- Because of knowledge of God, we should learn reverence and fear, ask every good thing from Him, and ascribe all to Him
It is not clear whether Calvin means that we should ascribe all good things to God, or all things period

- Knowledge of God must lead to the idea that because He made us, He is our authority by the laws of creation, and by the same laws our lives are His and He should be central to all that we do
cf. C. S. Lewis, Perelandra: "'I am His beast, and all His biddings are joys.'"

- It is our depravity that keeps us from perfectly following God once we understand the goodness of His nature

- The pious person has no idols, nor does he give God any false attributes. He diligently avoids leaving the path of God. He trusts God implicitly in all situations. He fears God as Judge, loves God as Father, and honors and obeys God as Master

Quotes from the Chapter

"... your life is sadly corrupted, if it is not framed in obedience to him..."

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