Reading Report: Calvin's Institutes: Chapter 3c (154-181)

February 25, 2020

I was blessed with Calvin's handling of the Ten Commandments - especially his taking the negative prohibition and putting in into positive terms. That gave me experience of joy and worship that I have not experienced before with the Ten Commandments. I was troubled with Calvin's handling of the law and its application today. It has been on my bucket list for years to take a deep dive into this topic, but I haven't gotten to it yet. So, perhaps my being troubled is my own lack of understanding.

Here are some bulleted thoughts:

  • God forbids any attempt to take the goods of others for ourselves, and thus commands us to faithfully preserve for others their property. We must judge that whatever a person possesses has not come to him by accident but through the provision of God." (154). I just have to say to this great quote, "Tsk Tsk Tsk Robin Hood!"
  • "Respect for another's rights and goods" (155) - I wonder if Calvin had in the back of his mind the Roman Church as he penned this discussion. I am actually surprised he didn't explicitly bring it up.
  • "Everyone is prone to sift through and uncover the vices of others." (158). I appreciated how Calvin stated this. We are all included in this.
  • I appreciated how Calvin went as far as to include jesting and harmless banter as a way of bearing false witness against our neighbor. (158-159).
  • I didn't quite follow Calvin on the difference between deliberation and coveting (159). Any comment?
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