Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prefactory Address to King Francis I of France sections 1 & 2

Getting back into Calvin's writing style was a little bit of a challenge. It has been several months since I have read entire sections of Calvin's works. Even some of the vocabulary being used was tough with words like "calumny" (slander), "effrontery" (barefaced audacity), and "supererogations" (deeds beyond what is required). You didn't know that you would be getting a vocabulary lesson today, did you? Armed with a cup of coffee (once again brought to me in bed) and my app I tackled the first two sections of the address.

In the address itself, Calvin is explaining to the king that the original intention of his book was to provide a simple doctrinal statement for the new reformed Christians. His opponents have attacked his work and Calvin personally for writing it. He is asking the king for a hearing on this matter.

Even in this introduction to the Institutes, Calvin hints at later theological points which will be explained in greater detail. He writes that his adversaries "interrupt and complain that in this way we shall subvert some blind light of nature, imaginary preparations, free will, and works that merit eternal salvation, even with their supererogations. For they cannot bear that the whole praise and glory of all goodness, virtue, righteousness, and wisdom should rest with God." I think all Calvinists have run into this same scenario - I know I have. Soli Deo gloria!

1 comment:

  1. Oh the total depravity of man in thinking we make all the decisions.


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