Great Quotes: John Calvin

Let us beware lest our words and thoughts go beyond what the Word of God tells us…We must leave to God His own knowledge,…and conceive Him as He makes Himself known to us, without attempting to discover anything about His nature apart from His Word. (Quoted in The Story of Christianity Vol. 2, by Justo L.Gonzalez, pg. 61)

If only John Calvin had followed his own advice and discovered God through His self-revelation alone, rather than positing a secret divine will that contradicts God’s will as revealed in Scripture and making “secret decrees” the foundation of his soteriology, decrees that the Bible nowhere mentions or describes.

Advertisements

6 Responses

  1. What has always intrigued me regarding the Calvinist notion of a secretive divine will is the idea that the Calvinist can explain his doctrine by assuming he knows what that secret is.

  2. I’ll never understand the view that God says one thing but secretly wants another. But if you want to explain away large portions of scripture, what better way to do it that the gnostic way? I know what God secretly wants!

  3. A.M. Mallett said,

    “What has always intrigued me regarding the Calvinist notion of a secretive divine will is the idea that the Calvinist can explain his doctrine by assuming he knows what that secret is.”

    Exactly! It’s a secret that the Holy Spirit has only revealed to the Calvinist and if you don’t understand it then it’s simply because God in His secrete will has by a secrete decree determined that you will not be allowed to understand it and thus you are the lesser Christian or the barely Christian, the Arminian.

    Concerning the mystery of the reformed faith ie. Deterministic Calvinism I was once fond of saying to my other Calvinist brothers, “If we know anything we know it simply because God has chosen to reveal it to us.” This was meant to be a very humble statement but in reality it was a source of pride. We were the chosen among the chosen.

  4. You’ve probably never read Calvin, but of course you’re entitled to your opinion, which is a small letter in the annals of human history. No one will remember who you are, or your dwarf opinions about God. But people, Christians, will always refer back to Luther and Calvin as the standard bearers of the Reformation. There was and still is a reason why Luther was adamantaly opposed to free will as a component for Salvation and why Calvin was a staunch defender of God’s power and authority over against man’s natural independance.

    What Calvin said and what Calvinist believe may not be the same beliefs. But it is clear that God has infinite knowledge and humans finite. If you think you can know God’s full range of will, you are fooling yourself.

  5. You’ve probably never read Calvin, but of course you’re entitled to your opinion, which is a small letter in the annals of human history.

    I have read quite a bit of Calvin, though I haven’t read him exhaustively. How much have you read?

    No one will remember who you are, or your dwarf opinions about God. But people, Christians, will always refer back to Luther and Calvin as the standard bearers of the Reformation.

    I don’t worry myself too much about who will remember me or my opinions. I have little doubt that Calvin and Luther and their opinions will be well remembered, but does that make those opinions right? Does it cause them to somehow be raised above criticism? Calvin and Luther initially stood against Rome’s position that only Rome was right about Scriptural interpretation. It is a shame that they eventually began to act the same way, thinking themselves nearly infallible; and it is a shame that so many criticize others today for daring to criticize their writings or “opinions”. That doesn’t seem to be in harmony with the Reformation in my opinion (for whatever that opinion may be worth to you or anyone else).

    God Bless,
    Ben

  6. “No one will remember who you are, or your dwarf opinions about God.”

    Oh trust me, there are worse things than not being famous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: