Lincoln Blogs


John Calvin and the Glory of God
January 16, 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Books, Faith

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth, I am reading his Institutes of the Christian Religion this year.

In Section 1.51-3 of the Institutes, Calvin states that the “clarity of God’s self-disclosure strips us of every excuse…. [H]e not only sowed in men’s minds that seed of religion of which we have spoken but revealed himself and daily discloses himself in the whole workmanship of the universe.” This is so true. From a tiny human cell, to the vast galaxies of outer-space, we see evidence of God. Consider a tiny human cell. Each individual cell contains more information than Encyclopedia Britannica. Christian author Lee Strobel writes that “one ‘simple’ cell is a high-tech factory, complete with artificial languages and decoding systems; central memory banks that store and retrieve impressive amounts of information; precision control systems that regulate the automatic assembly of components; proofreading and quality control mechanisms that safeguard against errors; assembly systems that use principles of refabrication and modular construction; and a complete replication system that allows the organism to duplicate itself at bewildering speeds.” Calculations indicate that if a person could write out all of the information that can be stored in a sample of DNA the size of a pinhead, the result would be a pile of books that is 500 times higher than the distance from the earth to the moon! In one microscopic cell, we see the work of God.

There are countless other examples. This video reveals it better than I could.

Psalm 19:1 proclaims, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Romans 1:20 says,  “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

Calvin, however, goes on to say in Section 1.5.4-5 that “man turns ungratefully against God.”

Here, however, the foul ungratefulness of men is disclosed. They have within themselves a workshop graced with God’s unnumbered works, and, at the same time, a storehouse overflowing with inestimable riches. They ought, then, to break forth into praises of him but are actually puffed up and swollen with all the more pride…. How detestable, I ask you, is this madness: that man finding God in his body and soul a hundred times, on this very pretence of excellence denies that there is a God?… [T]hey set God aside, the while using “nature,” which for them is the artificer of all things, as a cloak. They see such exquisite workmanship in their individual members, from mouth and eyes even to their very toenails. Here also they substitute nature for God.

Calvin is brilliant. This was written centuries ago, but it still applies today. Now, people use evolution, or “nature,” as the explanation for the amazing things in the universe. The “pride” that Calvin mentions does not allow them to believe in a God. They want to be in control, but the idea of a God makes them feel small and powerless. So, they reject God, substituting nature for Him. But we should rejoice in what he has given us, life and salvation through His Son.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: