Reading Report: Calvin's Institutes: Chapter 3a (109-133)

February 10, 2020

It has been a while since I have thought about the law, and I enjoyed reading Calvin's presentation thus far. I still think he could use more Scripture (page 110 is an example), but perhaps he is saving that for later in the chapter. I have also, more and more, started to take note when Calvin uses a derogatory phrase or label on folks he disagrees with. I am sure I didn't catch them all, but here are the ones that I did catch:

  • "deserves only ridicule" (116) - this one made me laugh out loud and is the one that caused me to decide to start to keep track
  • "sensible person may judge" (117) - a little more understated
  • "thoughtlessly" (119)
  • "flimsiest of reasons" (119) - he uses this of Augustine
  • "out of their minds" (125)
  • "foolish distinction" (125)
  • "empty excuses" (127)
  • "crude superstitions of the common folk" (128)
  • "rubbish" (129)
  • "evasion" (131) - also a little more understated

Here are some bulleted thoughts:

  • Is Calvin using "inner law" and "conscience" inner changeably (109)?
  • Calvin's "contrary argument" is thought-provoking (116). I am looking forward to thinking more upon it.
  • "We should observe that God's precepts contain more than we find expressed in words alone." (115). I don't disagree with this or his following sentences, but I do feel like a need to think about it much more. I feel like this is very delicate, yet Jesus himself as he interpreted Old Testament Scripture during his earthly ministry teaches that we should draw conclusions beyond just the words themselves.
  • I don't recall being aware that there were so many ways people have sought to divide up the ten commandments (118-120).
  • "...because ingratitude is a more hateful crime than any other." (121). I wasn't sure about this. I don't think I have heard that before. Anybody have any comments?
  • "effigies" (127) - I think this was a new word for me.
  • Ok, I don't mean to be crass here, but when Calvin said, "It is a most shameful thing to say...the prostitutes in a brother are more chastely and modestly adorned than the images of virgins which we see in churches," I chuckled and thought, How does Calvin know how the prostitutes in brothels are dressed?. Beyond that, his whole statement is rather humorous. I kind of think, Oh no he didn't just say that!
  • The Sins of the Fathers: For years I have wanted to revisit the Exodus and Ezekiel Passages on this. But, I haven't gotten around to it. We covered in when I was in seminary. Does anybody have a comment on Calvin's handling of it here?
Personal Updates

This is a password protected section available to those who know me in some fashion. If you know me and you do not already have a login, you can request a login here.

Personal Updates
Book Reviews

I am nuts about books. I read on all kinds of topics. I attempt to review each book I read for the sake of my own enrichment as well as conversation starters with others.

My Book Reviews
Pastoral Ministry

God has called me to be a pastor, and occasionally I have some pastoral thoughts I like to share.

Pastoral Posts
The Attic

You never know what you will find in an attic! Usually there is a hodgepodge of things buried under dust.

Explore the Attic
Technology

Most of what is included here are notes to myself. The majority of folks will not find interest in these posts.

Technology Posts