Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Proof Is in the Pudding

So this morning I should rename the blog "Coldness with Calvin".  We experienced an ice storm yesterday which has left me without power.  No power = no coffee.  I am such a geek though that my network equipment for home is on a battery backup so I can still get online.

This was a pretty long reading this morning covering nine sections.  Sections 5-10 dealt with primarily Moses and then some other prophets.  Moses performed many miracles.  In fact, I never stopped to think about each one in a list like Calvin did, but it was quite a few.  These miracles were witnessed by many who were assembled.  Moses did not perform magic tricks and went on to write laws against magicians and those who consulted them.

Moses and other people of God spoke prophecies concerning the future of Israel.  All of the prophecies came true.  Sometimes it was quite soon.  More miraculous were detailed prophecies of Isaiah who "names Cyrus through whom the Chaldeans had to be conquered and the people set free."  Cyrus was born 100 years after the prophecy.  Or Jeremiah predicted that Israel would be in Babylonian captivity for seventy years, and it happened.  Or Daniel writing about things which would pass 600 years later.  Calvin writes about these completed prophecies, "If godly men take these things to heart, they will be abundantly equipped to restrain the barking of ungodly men; for this is a proof too clear to be open to any subtle objections."

Calvin refuted claims that OT Scripture had been corrupted and/or altered during the transmission of it over the years or worse destroyed and later forged during the time of the Maccabees.  He responds to these accusations in the following manner, "But, to generalize concerning all sacred authors, it is absolutely certain that their writings passed down to posterity in but one way; from hand to hand.  Some had heard their actual words; others learned that they had so spoken from hearers whose memories were still fresh."

He shifts from addressing OT prophets to NT apostles at this point.  Calvin insisted that the apostles (particularly Matthew, Peter, and John) were not educated men.  But once the Holy Spirit descended upon them they spoke with great eloquence that was beyond their capabilities.  "Let these dogs deny that the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles; or even let them discredit history.  Yet the truth cries out openly that these men who, previously contemptible among common folk, suddenly began to discourse so gloriously of the heavenly mysteries must have been instructed by the Spirit."

Even beyond the writing of the Scriptures, history still contains proof that Scripture is the inspired Word of God.  If it were not so, Calvin states that people far and wide would not embrace the Scriptures so universally.  Also, some people have been willing to die for the Scriptures.  The fact that it has been believed so completely by so many is also proof that God was behind them.

But, the Scriptures are not believed by all.  "Therefore Scripture will ultimately suffice for a saving knowledge of God only when its certainty is founded upon the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit... But those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known."

Now it is time to get dressed and go to Starbucks.  Hopefully they will have power.

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