An ancient proverb says that people must know themselves. If it disgraceful to be ignorant about the things of life, how much disgraceful is ignorance of yourself! If we are ignorant of ourselves, we end up deceiving ourselves of what matters most. It's like we're walking blindfolded through life. Unfortunately, some philosophers have misused the … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 2.1.1 | Knowledge of Self and Sin
Some people raise another objection to God's complete sovereignty over all things. They argue that if God not only uses the wicked's actions to accomplish his purpose, but actually governs their thoughts and affections, then God must be the author of all their sins. And, therefore, when people are merely executing what God has decreed, … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.4 | Is God the Author of Evil?
I have written about what Scripture unambiguously teaches. Those who disagree with what I have written need to realize the kind of rebuke they deserve. What greater arrogance could there be than to disagree with the authority of God? For instance, to say "I think about things differently" or "This topic should have be broached." … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.3 | Objections to the Fact that God Wills All Things
An accusation I've heard lobbed against certain groups of people in our country is that they "look to the government to solve their problems." Unfortunately, I believe such an accusation can (rightly) be lobbed against the church based on our behavior and talk the past four years. The impression that is given off by some … Continue reading Our Problems Won’t Be Solved by the Government
"Gotta Have Dog" Just like a dog is tenacious and persistent chewing a raw-hide bone, so we need to be persistent in life to get things done. "If it smells weird, it is weird." People, situations, and circumstances should fall within a certain boundary of "normal." If even small things that are said or done … Continue reading My Sayings
One observation that has struck me lately is how life comes in seasons. Probably the most famous passage in the book of Ecclesiastes speaks to the "times" or "seasons" of human life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Another book which emphasizes seasons is Song of Solomon. The book recounts a love story between a man and woman who … Continue reading The Seasonality of Life
Solomon declares that the Lord turns the heart of a king wherever he wants it to go (Proverbs 21:1). What applies to the king certainly also applies to the whole human race. God must direct whatever we conceive of in our minds. If God did not work internally in the minds of people, then Scripture … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.2 | Even the Wicked Do His Will
Some Scriptures indicate that God uses Satan for his purpose. Not only does God use Satan, but also all the reprobate and wicked. It can be difficult to understand how God remains free of the stain of sin when he uses them for his purpose. He also remains exempt from all guilt, yet he himself … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.18.1 | Does God Permit or Decree All Things?
God's providence provides solid instruction and comfort for believers. Yet for those who don't believe, discussions of God's providence will never answer all of their questions or provide satisfying answers for them. So trying to conclusively prove these things to them is probably a fool's errand. Nevertheless, there are some Scriptures which seem to teach … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.12-14 | Does God Change His Mind?
Believers can be very happy even in spite of the hardships of human existence. So many ills trouble human life. Our bodies break down and our susceptible to so many diseases. Death stalks us at every turn. Even the weather being too hot or too cold can threatened us. Wherever human beings turn, they are … Continue reading Blogging the Institutes | 1.17.9-11 | Life is Misery; Get Happy Knowing God’s Providence