Friday, June 24, 2011

A Voice from the Past - John Calvin

First, then, when they inquire into predestination, let them remember that they are penetrating into the recesses of the divine wisdom, where he who rushes forward securely and confidently, instead of satisfying his curiosity, will enter an inextricable labyrinth. For it is not right that man should with impunity pry into things which the Lord has been pleased to conceal within himself, and scan that sublime eternal wisdom which it is his pleasure that we should not apprehend but adore, that therein also his perfections may appear. Those secrets of his will, which he has seen it meet to manifest, are revealed in his word — revealed in so far as he knew to be conducive to our interest and welfare.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion,1559, Vol. 3, Chapter 21, Section 1 (trans. by Henry Beveridge, p.1027; Sage Software, 1996 )

What do you think of this quote? What things might it pertain to?


  1. Amen! John Calvin :-)

  2. My favorite quote on predestination is found in Romans 8:

    "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

    My thinking is that he foreknew those who would respond to His love and love Him in return. And for those lovers of God he predestined them to be conformed to the image of Jesus. That thought always helps when I go through difficult times.

  3. While I suspect I see God more directly involved in bringing people through the steps described in Romans 8 than you do, I do think that whatever view we take on the issue that John Calvin's caution about trying to understand all the mysteries involved in the subject is a good one.