Monday, March 27, 2006

Calvin's Institutes, Chapter XXIV: Election

I was fortunate to recieve a fine copy of John Calvin's, Institutes of the Christian Religion, an intrigueing book written during an unusual period of history, by an unusual man, for unusual reasons, while the Christian religion was being misimplemented to war against itself. It seems, thus far in my reading, as though he is taking advantage of the state of the times, wherein it was fashionable and permissable for the major Christian power players that be, to disseminate to others the truth of the Bible, in whatever way it was that that truth appeared to themselves, expressing parts of that truth often in quite apparent and highly speculaive and highly subjective terms, relying on the complexity of their interpretations, the heartfeltness of their interpretations, and finally, the ever persuasive sword, to very tenaciously put forth a set of Christian beliefs intended to stand alone unto themselves, and serve their own personal experience.
I gravitated over to the chapter on election and, as I'm sure he would put it, I am going to 'cavil' my way through it, point by point, until he has made his point and I have made mine; for the sole purpose of then knowing what he believes, and what I believe, concerning the revealed word of God which we both share. I wish I had much more time than I do to put toward this, but I don't, so this will not go very fast; but it will lack nothing in the way of patience and ordinary standards of thoroughness, and hopefully lead to a greater understanding and comfort between myself and those of my brothers and sisters in Christ who prefer to adhere to any Calvinist beliefs which I may not.


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good idea.

I am afraid I have only read a compend of the Institutes.

God Bless


Todd said...

It's a massive read to be sure, Matthew. I'm pretty sure a person can get his main points out of just a fraction of his text. The reason I say that is that, in the reading I've done so far, especially in chapter 24, he expands so much about his own ideas of God's sovereignty, whereas the Bible only gets so elaborate about the details and methods of God's sovereignty, that he has already had to get fairly repetitive in his attributing of everything practically wholesale to God's sovereignty. And of course everything is due entirely to God's sovereignty, thankfully, except I think God has shown us just as much or more than He has actually told us about how exactly He enacts His sovereignty in this world. At any rate, Calvin is a massive intellect, which hopefully didn't lead him to...a mess. Thanks for stopping by Matthew. And I continue to learn from your blog site and I appreciate that.

Heartily with you in Christ, Todd

Rose~ said...

You're a great brother!

Todd said...

Likewise Rose, and a great teacher.


H K Flynn said...

Hey Todd,

May the Lord bless you for taking on this project :)

And I like that lengthy but very clear sentence your wrote: Sentence #2. It really sounds like you're reading classic literature :)

Todd said...

Thanks Jodie.

Pastor Jim said...


If you have read more of my posts you would realize where the name comes from. Oh yeah, that's right, you just read bits and pieces of everything. Take the Bible for instance; just a verse here and there.

Todd said...

Good vindictive, vituporous stuff Jim. And sorry about the integrity problem you have there with the title you go by, which you've said is self-proclaimed, and your name which is not yours either. And the name of your blog, 'What is the Truth', well, along with the fictitious portrayal of yourself, I'm afraid that's all just a little more irony than I can handle with a straight face. But bear this in mind, alias Jim, only because I've seen the way you handle the word, and vituporate to others about it.

Pastor Jim said...


You should research things you say before you stick your foot in your mouth. About the whole "Pastor Jim" name, I've said before where it came from. It is not "self-proclaimed." Learn before you speak. Which brings me to my next point... "What is the truth?" Maybe you should ask yourself this question more often. Don't just take people for their word. Learn for yourself. Read the Bible. The entire Bible. Not just tidbits. As for me being vindictive... I believe you started the comments, but I will be the bigger man and finish them. You stay in here, in your safe little world where nobody will confront you when you are wrong. If that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, I'm happy for you.

Keep those blinders on....


Todd said...


I know where you got your title. Some guy said you should be a pastor so you made a nickname up for yourself. That is all you've said. Oh, and then you remarked to some people that Jim is not your real name either. That is the information you put out about your self-embellishing nickname. You represent yourself as a pastor, not explaining to anyone that your are not one. That is bearing false witness Jim or whatever your name is.

Now then, read the bible? What in the world are you referring to. Nowhere have I said anything other than you lie about who you are and you rant at people mindlessly. Just as you are doing now, telling me to read the bible and argueing some imaginary point as though I have talked to you about anything other than you deceptively representing yourself.

Jim, one of your few credentials that you disclose in your blogsite is that you were on the high school debate team or something like that and that you are very proud of that. Well that's obviously who you are Jim, someone who enjoys ranting at people under a deceptive guise.

You don't seem to have a problem with making a complete fool of yourself Jim.

Pastor Jim said...

Are you just pulling things out of thin air now? None of what you said is true. Debate team? I gave myself the name? Read and learn, my friend...Read and learn!

Todd said...

The criteria for publically claiming to be a pastor are more than some friend or aquantaince of yours telling you that you sound like or should be one.

Repectfully handling the word of God does not include the poking of insulting incoherent generalities at people in the name of debate (which as you say in your profile is one of your interests). Go away with your tactics that demean Christ and His word and come back with a little more respect for decency and truth and others.

James Fletcher Baxter said...

The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human' determines our view
of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and
future. Important? Only the Creator who made us
in His own image is qualified to define us accurately.
Choose wisely...there are results.

Many problems in human experience are the result of
false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the

Let us proclaim it. Behold!
The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV


Todd said...

Mr. Baxter(James),
I see you have some truly genuine and valuable things to say. Please allow me a few days to give it all a thorough look. I see it did not make the transition from your word processor real well. Thanks for the better copy you sent to my email address. Maybe I'll put it into "post" format for ease of handling. Thanks for the input! Todd