Monday, October 19, 2009

On Calvin.

As part of their "How to Believe" series, The Guardian has posted Paul Helm's four part series on Calvin. I haven't read it yet but here's a quote from the first part, "A World Figure."

But if we concentrate only on his political and social influence, real as it is, we forget Calvin's heart-beat. He was "religious", not in the sense nowadays despised in liberal circles, but in its fundamental sense of a binding of the self to God. His theology, to which we shall pay some attention, was not an end in itself, but a means to that end. Theology ought not to be detached from its end, otherwise it becomes purely cerebral, speculative, something that merely "flits in the brain". But not any old theology will do, only a theology carved and mined from the pages of holy scripture. Though Calvin did not discount mankind's innate religious sense, nor (as far as can be judged) the practice of natural theology, he was primarily a theologian of what he believed was given to us once and for all through God in his son and in the Bible.



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