Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ascribe what good is left in us to God's kindness

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559)
Book 2 - God the Redeemer
Chapter 2 - Man deprived of freedom of choice
Section 12-17 - Man's natural gifts not wholly extinguished:
the understanding
Section 12 - Supernatural gifts destroyed, natural gifts corrupted;
enough of reason remains to distinguish man from beast
Our reason is partly corrupted: able to function, but not to complete its search for truth, because of "dullness."

Section 13 - Reason, regarding earthly things
"Some seed of political order, household management, all mechanical ability, and the liberal arts has been implanted in all men."

Section 14 - Understanding as regards art and science
Knowledge of various arts is so universal, without regard to the piety of each, it must be "the peculiar grace of God."
[Common grace]

Section 15 - Science as God's gift
All truth comes from God: rhetoric, medicine, math, etc.

Section 16 - Human competence in art and science from God's Spirit
Exodus 31:2-11; 35:30-35.
The Spirit only dwells in believers (Rom 8:9) but also moves men to excel in science and art for our benefit, too.

Section 17 - Summary
Only God's grace sustains our reason , and makes it excel.

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