Blogging the Institutes–1.5.4–Humanity Suppresses the Knowledge of God

“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List

Humanity Suppresses the Knowledge of God

Although our bodies testify to God’s handiwork, do we praise Him for it? No. That’s the problem with humanity: we’re so ungrateful! Our bodies are like little factories, where innumerable things are going on that point us to God. But do we burst forth in praise to God? No way! On the contrary, we get all puffed up with pride, thinking that we’re so awesome.

We all know that God is doing so many wonderful things in and through our bodies. Our own experiences tell us that we have received many different gifts and abilities from God. Everyone knows these things are from God and give us evidence of God. Yet, we stubbornly suppress this knowledge. People often claim for themselves the gifts which only God could give them. In doing so, they try to extinguish the light of God’s knowledge.

At this time, there are many people living who try to do something very dastardly: they try to use the very knowledge of God which has been deposited in every human mind as a way of suppressing the name of the true God! Is there anything worse than this? For example, they try to use the gifts and amazing wonders of the human body as a pretext for denying God. Now, most people will say that human beings are different than mere animals. Yet, many people will attribute to “nature” the very attributes of God (such as creativity), thus, suppressing God’s name!

The functions of the soul, which has rare abilities, however, seem to be impervious to being coopted as an argument against God. Yet, the Epicureans even used the functions of the soul as a way of waging war against the true knowledge of God. If God uses so much wisdom in guiding humanity, then why would we deny that He uses wisdom to guide the whole universe? Some people argue that for every function of the soul there is a corresponding “organ” or part to it. Even if such a claim is true, it doesn’t diminish God’s glory, rather it enhances it. We see in an act such as the eating the many parts of a person working in concert with one another: for different parts do different things. But all in all it shows God’s working over every faculty.

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