Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion

Another massive work. This one is supposed to be the most important theological work done by a Protestant. I am listening to this rather than reading thanks to Librivox.org. The introduction has a number of gems in it, but I will just highlight one:

"But human affairs have scarcely ever been so happily constituted as that the better course pleased the greater number. Hence the private vices of the multitude have generally resulted in public error, or rather that common consent in vice which these worthy men would have to be law." - Introduction

This reminds me a bit of our current efforts to impose morals on society.  The public may not choose wisely, but the courts have proven far worse.  Here Calvin complains clergy facilitating the vice.  The reason for the Reformation in the first place was that the church was taking a lead role in the furtherance of vice towards the end of the Renaissance. It would seem that there is no hope in any direction, except that society should experience a bit of virtue by the grace of God.

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