“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.
Although we lack the ability to know God on our own, we still have no excuse before Him. We can’t claim ignorance without being convicted by our own conscience of laziness and ingratitude. People try to defend themselves before God by claiming they did not have ears to hear the truth, even though the creation has a loud enough “voice” to declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). Furthermore, they try to plead ignorance by claiming that they don’t have eyes to see the truth, even though creatures without eyes demonstrate it (Romans 1:20). People try to excuse themselves on the basis of having a weak mind, even though creatures without reason are able to teach it.
Therefore, when we go astray from the path of truth, we have no excuse because all things point to the right path. All people must bear the guilt of corrupting the knowledge which God has deposited in their minds. Furthermore, they prevent it from bearing good and genuine fruit. It still true, however, that revelation from creation is not enough to bring us to God, even though all creatures bear witness to the glory of the Creator. As soon as we gain some slight knowledge of God from looking at the world, we ignore that knowledge of the true God. Instead, we dream up some other “god” so we don’t have to give the true and living God the praise He is due. Rather, we transfer our praise to this made up “god.” Moreover, because we form some other “god” in our mind, we totally block out the truth which God gives to us everyday through His creation. Consequently, we rob creation of its glory and God of the praise which He deserves.