Sunday, July 12, 2009

John Calvin is 500

While relaxing at the hotel pool I met a man and his family who just returned from Boston, MA. Why did they go to Boston? Good question. They went to celebrate the 500th birthday of John Calvin. Calvin is one of the great protestant reformers. His theology, "Institutes of the Christian Religion" is one of the best theologies you will ever read. Yes, it is even understandable, if you go slow. With that in mind, here is a quote from Calvin's Institutes. Enjoy . . .

It is the common habit of mankind that the more closely men are bound together by the ties of kinship, of acquaintanceship, or of neighborhood, the more responsibilities for one another they share. This does not offend God; for his providence, as it were, leads us to it. But I say: we ought to embrace the whole human race without exception in a single feeling of love; here there is no distinction between barbarian and Greek, worthy and unworthy, friend and enemy, since all should be contemplated in God, not in themselves. When we turn aside from such contemplation, it is no wonder we become entangled in many errors. Therefore, if we rightly direct our love, we must first turn our eyes not to man, the sight of whom would more often engender hate than love, but to God, who bids us extend to all men the love we bear to him, that this may be an unchanging principle: Whatever the character of the man, we must yet love him because we love God. -- Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 8

Powerful words from Calvin, even after 500 + years!

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