Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thoughts on John Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion”

“Of His wonderful wisdom, both heaven and earth contain innumerable proofs; not only those more abstruse things, which are the subjects of astronomy, medicine, and the whole science of physics, but those things which force themselves on the view of the most illiterate of mankind, so that they cannot open their eyes without being constrained to witness them…….In disquisitions concerning the motions of the stars, in fixing their situations, measuring their distances, and distinguishing their peculiar properties, there is need of skill, exactness, and industry; and the providence of God being more clearly revealed by these discoveries, the mind ought to rise to a sublimer elevation for the contemplation of His glory.”

“Thus it belongs to a man of preeminent ingenuity to examine, with the critical exactness of Galen, the connection, the symmetry, the beauty, and the use of the various parts of the human body. But the composition of the human body is universally acknowledged to be so ingenious, as to render its Maker the object of deserved admiration.”

“The manifold agility of the soul, which enables it to take a survey of heaven and earth; to join the past and the present; to retain the memory of things heard long ago; to conceive of whatever it chooses by the help of imagination; its ingenuity also in the invention of such admirable arts,--are certain proofs of the divinity in man.”

It is important to keep in mind that Calvin published his Institutes in 1559. Today, in our scientific world, we know so much more about the heavens, the earth, and the human body than men in Calvin’s day did. And yet, even then, Calvin was able to say with the psalmist; “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” How much more evidence for God is there today? And yet, men still refuse to believe.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dear God,

Thank you for children. Thank you for knowledge, even though sometimes those children don’t care about it. Thank you for questions and also for their answers. Thank you for the future.

Thank you for unanswered prayers, so that I may trust You with my life.

Thank you for Fall; for apples, for red and yellow and orange, for crisp weather, for hazy light.

Thank you for family, and friends who are family. Thank you for wise friends who always say the right thing.

Thank you for happiness and small joys. Thank you for the beautiful little things. Thank you for laughing. Thank you for tears. Thank you for love.