Monday, October 13, 2008

just a quote

Apparently this is from John Calvin's last will and testament. I think it's pretty remarkable, for a few reasons. John Calvin was, without, doubt, one of the most influential theological thinkers of the 16th century. I have not read the rest of this piece, I've only seen this excerpt, but it's endearing and depressing all at once.

"The will I have had, and the zeal, if it can be called that, have been so cold and sluggish that I feel deficient in everything and everywhere....Truly, even the grace of forgiveness [God] has given me only renders me all the more guilty, so that my only recourse can be this, that being the father of mercy, he will show himself and father of so miserable a sinner"

12 Comments:

Blogger Melanie said...

It could be said to be encouraging and depressing all at once, I suppose. Encouraging in the sense that sometimes we think can think we are the worst of sinners - that someone with Calvin's history would be "above" that. As it turns out he is a sinner like the rest of us. I imagine there is some encouragement to be taken that we are not alone in the struggle that is this life. On the other hand, sometimes it would be nice to think that someone had mastered sin (depressing part?) There is one who has, though, and has paved the way for mercy. That is my hope and my faith. Praise God. :)

7:43 AM

 
Blogger David said...

i think the encouraging part comes with the fact that this man, who so many viewed to be in a place of authority when it came to spirituality, someone to look up to, was indeed so aware of the impossibility to consider oneself pleasing in the eyes of God, it's a reminder that we are all on the same level or something. "no one is righteous, not even one"

8:02 AM

 
Blogger AJ said...

amazing grace...amen and amen! :)

9:42 AM

 
Blogger Melanie said...

Exactly! :)

You know you can read the whole last will and testament here:

http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/index.html?mainframe=/calvinism/calvin_will.html

1:14 PM

 
Blogger emily said...

john calvin was THE most influental theological thinker of the 16th century. :)

7:01 PM

 
Blogger David said...

yeah! lucky for us he was, because now we can just lie back and sip some sweet tea (i'm southern) while we patiently await our salvation, you know, considering it is out of our hands. of course some people aren't as complacently resigned, like a story i read about a puritan woman who was so distraught over the possibility of going to hell or heaven that she killed her own baby so that she would finally be sure that she would not be saved. but ya know those puritans, a little extreme some would say.

7:27 AM

 
Blogger emily said...

i don't believe that's how salvation works nor do i believe that puritans are extreme. furthermore, i believe your example of the puritan woman is what people would call "an isolated incident."

7:38 PM

 
Anonymous Hypothetically.... said...

I have read a few of your posts now. I notice you talk about Faith and God a lot. Do you have a post that gives your testimony? I'm assuming your of the Biblical Christian background from what I read so I was curious as to whether you are currently "undecided" or if you consider yourself a "Christian" and in what way... That way I know where you're coming from before I comment anymore.

1:31 PM

 
Blogger David said...

I call myself a Christian with much hesitance and reservation, partly because of the association it creates, but also because I am not that egotistical. I don't easily call myself one.

9:49 AM

 
Anonymous Hypothetically.... said...

The term "Christian" is a term that was created not by the followers of Christ, but by those around them in society that made the comparison between them and Jesus. I understand you're concern because now people outside of the "church" call them "hypocrites" instead of "christian". But I guess this is where I am asking where the distinction is in you and your writings. Do you ascribe to the philosophy and truths in the Bible? Do you consider scripture to be absolute truth? I'm not referring to America's church and what they say or do. Strictly referring to the Bible only.

12:21 PM

 
Blogger David said...

I consider Christ to be the absolute truth, but a that truth is not easily attainable, nor is it a source of comfort. Do you understand my concern?

1:12 PM

 
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