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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

A Year with the Institutes, Day 16

Friday, January 16, 2009

So, to sum up chapter five of book one:
  • There is a natural seed of religion sewn into the very fabric of people
  • People corrupt that natural seed and end up in superstition or an outright denial of God
  • Only the inner revelation of God through faith leads people to "the right path"
  • The corruption of the in-born seed of religion is nobody's fault but peoples'
"But although we lack the natural ability to mount up unto the pure and clear knowledge of God, all excuse is cut off because the fault of dullness is within us." (1.5.15)

I indicated earlier that I'm not sure anthropology will maintain the first point. And the more I think about the implications of the second point, the more difficulty I have with it, simply because it renders all human initiative in probing the mysteries of God to be meaningless, indeed, dead-wrong. It risks turning faith into something static, where the only possible result of seeking answers is failure.

The focus of revelation, though, is easy enough for me to get with, and in fact resonates with me as good news. Because, while it may force one through a narrow gate, there is at least a gate there, and the opening of it has nothing to do with human ability or piety.

Half a month down, 11 and 1/2 to go.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 4:55 PM

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