Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Most Mis-represented Theologian?

To my mind, John Calvin is one of the most mis-represented and most misunderstood (usually by those who've never actually read him) theologians in church history. Here's a quote from an early chapter in his "Institutes" that gives a true sense of the thoroughly Biblical and pastoral quality of his writings (and preaching):

"For this sense of the divine perfections is the proper master to teach us piety, out of which religion springs. By piety I mean that union of reverence and love to God which the knowledge of his benefits inspires. For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity."

("Institutes of the Christian Religion, ch.2")

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