Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Lately I have been thinking a lot about how any of our notions of God must inherently be ignorant to some extent, because God is so much greater than us. The result of this is that I think we should be very full of grace in theological exploration and be extremely hesitant to use words such as heresy. Obviously, there are avenues of revelation that give us a foundation to make propositions about God. I'm not advocating absolute ineffability. In the midst of these thoughts, I am doing thesis research, and I came across this polar opposite quote from none other than John Calvin...

"We are not to essay anything in religion rashly or unthinkingly. For unless there is knowledge present, it is not God that we worship but a spectre or ghost. Hence all so-called good intentions are struck by this thunderbolt, which tells us that men can do nothing but err when they are guided by their own opinion without the Word or command of God." -From Calvin's Commentary on the Gospel of John.

This is Calvin's explanation of Jesus telling the Samaritan woman at the well that the Samaritans worship in ignorance. I don't really have time to go into all the details of why Calvin is very misguided in my estimation, but suffice it to say that once again he fails to interpret the Bible with any notion of the infinite grace of God. P.S. If you're in the market for a commentary on John, do not get Leon Morris' commentary in the NICNT series.

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