Blogging The Institutes
"Catabaptists" is Calvin's term for "Anabaptists" - the sixteenth century radicals who basically wanted nothing to do with the earthly state, and did not encourage concern for the office of a magistrate or (in this case) the monarch. Calvin is keen to demonstrate to the King that Protestants,...
Sinclair Ferguson
Calvin's Institutes opens with a strikingly important sentence--crafted first by a young man in his mid-twenties and only fine tuned between its first appearance in 1536 and its final expression a few years before his death. Wisdom--the knowledge coupled with practical understanding and piety that...
Sinclair Ferguson
If my first question about God is "What is he?" then I am already mistaken. The really important question is "Who is he?" "What is God like?" The biblical answer is that he is the fountain of all good and that he reveals himself as such in creation. Yes he is a Judge. The naïve reader would expect...
Sinclair Ferguson
Man is God's image. The implanted knowledge of God is universal. Yes, perverted and fragmented by the fall, but still real.. It gives rise to the seed of religion, notes Calvin. An instinct to praise and worship is inbuilt in all men. Testimony to it is seen in distorted form in idolatry (whether...
Sinclair Ferguson
The heavens declare God's glory, and so the astronomer is also a theologian who explores the Book of Nature in which God has inscribed his glory. But "what is man that you care for him?" means that the anatomist who explores the intricate, even microscopic details of the human body, also studies...
Sinclair Ferguson
God has revealed himself above and below man, in the cosmos; he has also revealed himself in man, since he is God's image. But we might also say that God reveals himself around man in his providential governing of the universe. As God directs and superintends the flow of history two things become...
Paul Helm
Whether or not Calvin patterns the Institutes after the Letter to the Romans it is pretty clear that at this point he has Romans 1-2 in mind. God manifests his nature, his power and goodness, to all men and women through the creation. Its regularity and power, beauty and order, as well as its...
Paul Helm
What is the knowledge of God that Scripture makes sense of? Calvin insists that, before it is the knowledge of God the redeemer, Scripture gives us the true knowledge of God our Creator and sustainer. First nature, then grace. The place of Scripture in giving us the knowledge of the God of nature...
Paul Helm
The Christian church is subordinate to the Word of God. She does not grant the Bible its authority. Divine authority exercised through Scripture comes before the church, it is not established by the church. Calvin here begins to develop a contrast between the certainty conveyed by the Holy Spirit...
Paul Helm
We noted earlier the distinction Calvin draws between certainty and opinion. The Holy Spirit brings about the certain conviction that Scripture is the Word of God, whereas the testimony of the church can only help us to form the opinion that it is God's Word. It is therefore somewhat surprising to...