Friday, January 30, 2009

Wily Distinctions

Calvin's Institutes
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator









Chapter 11 - It is Unlawful to Attribute a Visible Form to God, and
generally whoever sets up idols revolts against the true God

Section 11 - Foolish evasions of the papists
Image worshipers say it's fine, because they are serving, not worshiping, idols. This is a "wily distinction."
This doesn't work because the Greek word for serve means worship.

Section 12 - the Functions and Limits of Art
"And yet.... sculpture and painting are gifts of God."
We should only paint what we can see.
[Disagree with Calvin here: can't we paint angels? He also questions the value of any art with no teaching value. I'd say a still life of fruit with no overt or clear message is just fine.]

Section 13 - As long as doctrine was pure and strong, the church rejected images
The Church had no images for 500 years, wisely seeing in them more potential harm than edification.
The images God has provided for us are baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Section 14 - Childish arguments for images at the Council of Nicea (787)
Arguments from Scripture (Gen 1:27; Song 2:14; Matt 5:15; Ps 4:7; 25:5; 1 John 1:1; Ps 67:36; 15:3) don't prove anything about images.

Section 15 - Ridiculous misuse of Scripture texts
They are shredding Scripture to make a case for using images from Gen 47:10, 31; Heb 11:21; Gen 28:18; Ps 98:5, 9; 44:13.

Section 16 - Blasphemous and shocking claims for images
They claim image use is older than it is.
They overstate their case saying we should give the same honor to images as to the Trinity. This undoes the distinction between service and worship, which they use to justify using images.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A perpetual factory of idols

Calvin's Institutes
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator








Chapter 11 - It is Unlawful to Attribute a Visible Form to God, and
generally whoever sets up idols revolts against the true God
Sections 5-7 - Pope Gregory's error in this refuted from Scripture and the fathers
Section 5 - Scripture judges otherwise
Pope Gregory first argued that images are the books of the uneducated.
The prophets declare them sources of "vanity and falsehood."
Jer 10:8; Hab 2:18.

Section 6 - The doctors of the church, too, partly judged otherwise
Lactantius, Eusebius and Augustine also differed with Gregory
The Council of Elvira (305) also declared against them.

Section 7 - The images of the papists are entirely inappropriate
Their images are obscene and more provocative than prostitutes
The only reason the unlearned need images to teach them is because the Church has not done it.
We wouldn't need pictures of crosses if the Church would teach the truths in Gal 3:13; Heb 10:10; Rev 1:5; Rom 5:10

Section 8 - The origin of images: man's desire for a tangible deity
Idols didn't begin from ancestor worship, but from the human heart.
Laban (Gen 31:19) and Terah (Josh 24:2) were both idol worshipers, from the line of Shem.
Israel needed a visible form for proof of God's presence (Ex 32:1).

Section 9 - Any use of images leads to idolatry
We can't help but ascribe deity to images, even if we say there is a difference.
Israel claimed their idols were the very gods that freed them.
Lev 26:13; Ex 32:4-8

Section 10 - Image worship in the church
Image worshipers claim God isn't in the image, but kneel and turn to it.
Israel didn't call their idols their gods, but were committing idolatry with them anyway (Jer 2:27; Ezek 6:4ff; Isa 40:19-20; Hab 2:18-19; Deut 32:37).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Panting after Figures of God

Calvin's Institutes

(Scripture references are all original to Calvin)







Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 11 - It is Unlawful to Attribute a Visible Form to God, and
generally whoever sets up idols revolts against the true God
Sections 1-4 - Scriptural argument for rejecting images in worship
Section 1 - We are forbidden every pictorial representation of God
Scripture always contrasts God with idols.
The world pants after visible figures of God.
God's glory is corrupted whenever any form is attached to him.
The Greeks worshipped gods in human form, appearing better than other pagans.
But God repudiates all forms alike (Ex 20:4).

Section 2 - Every figurative representation of God contradicts His being
God reminds Israel that they saw no form when God spoke to them (Deut 4:12-16).
Any image of God displeases Him as dishonoring His majesty.

Section 3 - Even direct signs of the divine Presence give no justification for images
God did act visibly, with cloud, fire and smoke (Deut 4:11).
But these were all formless, too, keeping us from forming images in our minds.
Moses only saw God's back (Ex 33:11, 20).
The Spirit did not remain as a dove for long (Matt 3:16).
The cherubim were hidden behind the veil and pointed beyond themselves (Ex 25:17-21).
The seraphim covered their faces in God's presence (Isa 6:2).
Even the pagan Juvenal knew Israel had no image of God to worship;
but the papists try to say they did!
Papists also try to say the image superstition was uniquely Jewish, but it is not.

Section 4 - Images and pictures aare contary to Scripture
Ps 135:15 mentions idols of silver and gold so we aren't wowed by the shiny and expensive.
Horace mocks idolatry the same way Isaiah does (44:12-17):
the craftsman decides to make firewood, a stool, or an idol from the same wood.
Idols are fashioned by men, not truly of God
(Isa 2:8; 31:7; 37:19; Hos 14:3; Micah 5:13)
Those who make them will be like them (Ps 115:8).
Pictures no less than sculpted, carved images are forbidden:
they are "an insult to His majesty."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

His Fatherly Goodness & Beneficently Inclined Will

Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 10 - Scripture, to correct all superstition, has set the true God alone over against all the gods of the heathen
Section 1 - The Scriptural doctrine of God the Creator
All we need to do is understand that God governs the universe founded by Him.

Section 2 - The attributes of God according to Scripture agree with those known in His creatures
The name Yahweh reveals His eternity and self-existence.
We must know of God's mercy, judgment and justice, which reveal His goodness and holiness.
Jeremiah 9:24; 1 Cor 1:31; Ps 145:5; Ps 25:8-10

Section 3 - Because the unity of God was also not unknown to the heathen, the worshipers of idols are the more inexcusable
Even pagans who worship many gods still use the singular "God" in their speech.
All pagans have defected from the true God.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Things charismatics dream up




















Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 9 - Fanatics, abandoning Scripture and flying over to revelation, cast down all the principles of godliness
Section 1 - The fanatics wrongly appeal to the Holy Spirit
Fanatics leave the Word to find another way to God.
They say they are following the Spirit.
But the Spirit and Word are joined (Isaiah 59:21).
Paul had visions (2 Cor 12:2) but still pointed Timothy to the Word for direction (1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
Jesus sent the Spirit to lead them into the truth found in the Word (John 16:13).

Section 2 - The Holy Spirit is recognized in his agreement with Scripture
We need a standard to discern the truth of the Spirit speaking to us, for Satan disguises himself to us as a lying spirit (Gal 1:6-9; 2 Cor 11:14).
It is fine to test the Spirit against the Word, for He wrote it!
The prophets speaking by the Spirit in the early church were less certain that the Word we have (2 Peter 1:19).

Section 3 - Word and Spirit belong inseparably together
When Paul says the letter kills but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor 3:6) he contrasts the Old Covenant without Christ with the New Covenant with Christ; he does not mean to contrast the Bible and the Spirit.
Only when reverently in the Word does the Spirit show forth in power.
The Spirit confirms and illumines the truth in the Word we read.
"Fanatics... seize upon whatever they may have conceived while snoring."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Refuting filthy calumnies




















Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 8 - So far as human reason goes, sufficiently firm proofs are at hand to establish the credibility of Scripture
Section 5-10 - Refutation of objections regarding miracles and prophecy
Section 5 - Miracles strengthen the authority of God's messengers
Moses' credibility as God's spokeman was confirmed by supernatural events.
Ex 24:18; 34:29; 19:16; 40:34; Num 16:24; 20:10-11; Ex 17:6; 1 Cor 10:3-4; Num 11:9; Ex 16:13.

Section 6 - Moses' miracles are incontestable
No one in Israel objected to the miracles as fraud

Section 7 - Prophecies that are fulfilled contrary to all human expectation
Jacob foretells Judah as the source of Israel's king (Gen 49:10).

Section 8 - God has confirmed the prophetic words
Isaiah prophesied Israel's exile and improbable return via Cyrus (Isa 39:6-7; 45:1), over 100 years before it happens.
Jeremiah prophesies 70 years before return, which happens (Jer 25:11-12; 29:10).
Jeremiah and Ezekiel say the same things, though separated by 1000 miles.
Daniel prophesies historical events with exact detail.

Section 9 - The transmission of the law is to be trusted.
The first 5 books of the Bible, with the rest of the OT, were rediscovered in their entirety by King Josiah (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chron 34:15). From then they have been handed down to each new generation "from hand to hand."

Section 10 - God has marvelously preserved the Law and the Prophets
...in the persecutions by Antiochus between the OT and NT. 
No one protests that the Jews substituted false copies after this.

Section 11 - Simplicity and heavenly character and authority of the New Testament
Matthew was a tax collector; Paul a persecutor of the church. The NT writers were greatly changed in character and ability before speaking and writing eloquently in Scripture.

Section 12 - Unvarying testimony of the church to the Scripture
Debunkers of every generation fail to topple Scripture.
It is not tied to national identity, further proving its truth.

Section 13 - Martyrs died firmly for Scripture doctrine
Not from reckless abandon, but intentional soberness.
These are all secondary proofs; the Spirit's testimony, giving us faith is needed first.
[Calvin and Van Til agree; apologetics must presuppose faith.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Crammed with thoughts not humanly conceived


Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 8 - So far as human reason goes, sufficiently firm proofs are at hand to establish the credibility of Scripture
Section 1-4 - The unique majesty and impressiveness, and the high antiquity, of Scripture
Section 1 - Scripture is superior to all human wisdom
You need the Spirit's testimony to Scripture's divine source before human arguments will help. When the former is present, the latter will be of secondary assistance.
Scripture is shown to be from God in that it shows God's wisdom, in how all the parts fit together beautifully, but most of all in the "grandeur of subjects." There may be more eloquent writing, but it pales next to the penetrating Word.

Section 2 - Not style but content is decisive
The Bible's content could not have been humanly conceived.
Its style is sometimes rustic, sometimes eloquent;
but the Spirit brings the majesty through the events and thoughts.

Section 3 - The great antiquity of Scripture
Moses recalls Abraham's covenant and prophecy of 400 years in Egypt.
Egypt or Greece are not nearly so old as Abraham.

Section 4 - The truhfulness of Scripture shown by Moses' example
Moses records Levi's wickedness, his own ancestor!
Also Aaron and Miriam's grumblings.
These would not be recorded were it a merely human book.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Evidence demanding a verdict is backwards


Book One - The Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 7 - Scripture Must be confirmed by the witness of the Spirit; it is a wicked falsehood that its credibility depends on the judgment of the church
Section 4 - The witness of the holy Spirit: this is stronger than all proof
For any doctrine to be credible, God must be its author.
Besides arguments of proof, the Spirit convinces us that God speaks in the Bible.
We ought not "dwell on rational proofs," or "boast of [our] keenness."
Trying to build faith in Scripture on arguments is "doing things backwards."
The Spirit's testimony is superior to human reason and our arguments.
The Spirit is our seal and guarantee (2 Cor 1:22), which shall never fail (Isaiah 59:21).

Section 5 - Scripture bears its own authentication
"It is not right to subject [the Bible] to proof and reasoning."
God Himself authenticates His Scriptures to us.
To be true faith, the Spirit must seal it in us.
"The beginning of true doctrine [is an] eagerness to hear God's voice."

Monday, January 19, 2009

A "pernicious error" refuted

Book One - The Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 7 - Scripture Must be confirmed by the witness of the Spirit; it is a wicked falsehood that its credibility depends on the judgment of the church
Section 1 - Scripture has its authority from God, not from the church
This is true because the Scriptures testify of Jesus (John 5:39).
Their Biblical status does not depend upon the judgment of men.

Section 2 - The church is itself grounded upon ScriptureS
Ephesians 2:20 proves this.
The truth of Scripture is obvious and doesn't need the church to "render [it] authentic."

Section 3 - Augustine cannot be cited as counterevidence
He only meant that unbelievers will be persuaded by the whole Church's consensus of belief; not that a believer should trust the church's judgment instead of looking to Scripture itself. Unbelievers may respect the word of men, but when converted we respect God's Word.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our Glasses and Lifeline


Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 6 - Scripture is Needed as Guide and Teacher for Anyone Who Would Come to God the Creator
Section 1 - God bestows the actual knowledge of Himself upon us only in the Scriptures
Knowledge gleaned from nature only produces ingratitude in us, given our blindness.
The Bible is like glasses for us blind men, to see clearly God's glory in the world.
We must know God as Redeemer as well as Creator
We can tell the true God from all pretenders only by the litmus test of the Bible.

Section 2 - The Word of God as Holy Scripture
The Bible makes our faith unambiguous; we know exactly WHO and WHAT to believe.
Christ is the summation of everything revealed in the Bible (Rom 10:4).
To know God aright, you have to be a teachable student of the Bible.
"Faith is born of obedience." Huh.

Section 3 - Without Scripture we fall into error
In our forgetfulness and faithlessness we leave the true God easily.
When we leave the Word, tend to get hasty and zealous, but should simply return.
God is "unapproachable," (1 Tim 6:16), [Calvin] "like an inexplicable labyrinth unless we are conducted into [Him] by the thread of the Word."

Section 4 - Scripture can communicate to us what the revelation in the creation cannot
The Word is meant to overcome our blindness to God's revealing Himself in nature.
Ps 19:; 29:9-11; 93:5; John 4:22.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The dullness within us

Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 5 - Knowledge of God shines forth in the fashioning of the universe and the continuing government of it
Section 13-15 - Persistent in error, we are without excuse
Section 13 - The Holy Spirit rejects all cults contrived by men
We wrongly follow our own opinions in deciding what kind of god to worship (1 Cor 10:20; ePH 2:12-13; Rom 1:21; Habakkuk 2:18, 20; John 4:22).
Even the princes of this world do not understand the wisdom of God (1 Cor 2:8; Acts 17:23).

Section 14 - The manifestation of God in nature speaks to us in vain
because "we have not the eyes to see this unless they be illlumined by the inner revelation of God through faith." (Heb 11:3; Rom 1:19; Acts 17:27; 14:16-17).

Section 15 - We have no excuse
because "the fault of dullness is within us."
We can't claim deafness to God's voice in nature, when mute creatures proclaim it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Read Calvin

A bit belated, I commend to you reading Calvin's Institutes this year.

If you have teens, I commend having them answer these questions along with the readings.

I'm posting answers here as a summary of the reading some days, as we go...

"Such is our stupidity"

Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 5 - Knowledge of God shines forth in the fashioning of the universe and the continuing government of it
Section 1-10 - God manifested in his created works
Section 10 - The purpose of this knowledge of God
Knowing God leads us to worship Him, and hope for His just judgment of this world in the future world.

Section 11-12 - Man nevertheless, failing to know and worship Him, falls into superstition and confusion
Section 11 - The evidence of God in creation does not profit us
Because we're too stupid to get the point.
We all reject God; we each make up our own unique idol to replace Him.
Even philosophers like Plato fail, in that they don't get beyond their thoughts to their Creator.

Section 12 - The manifestation of God is choked by human superstition and the error of the philosophers
Idols flow from our minds as naturally as water from a spring.
When we invent idols ourselves, others respond with exasperated atheism.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Severe Mercy

Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 5 - Knowledge of God shines forth in the fashioning of the universe and the continuing government of it
Section 1-10 - God manifested in his created works
Section 6 - The Creator reveals His lordship over the creation
In His rule He gives us gifts.
It is great sin to overlook the Giver while enjoying His gifts.

Section 7 - God's government and judgment
God is kind to all, but also brings severe judgment on the wicked.
When He punishes even one sin, it should show us how He hates all sin.
He is merciful to pursue the wicked in their sin, making them miserable in it.

Section 8 - God's sovereign sway over the life of men
The world is a theater, displaying God's kind providence.
Psalm 107:4-7, 9, 10-20, 23-30, 33-43; 113:7.
The "wise" don't seem to see this: 1 Cor 1:20; 3:19; Job 5:13.

Section 9 - We ought not to rack our brains about God; 
rather, we should contemplate Him in His works.

It's not hard to give evidence of God's majesty.
But knowledge of Him that "merely flits in the brain" is no good.
He must "take root in the heart."
We must pursue knowledge of Him in His works (Acts 17:27-8; Ps 145:3-6; 40:5).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Atoms ordering themselves?

Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 5 - Knowledge of God shines forth in the fashioning of the universe and the continuing government of it
Section 1-10 - God manifested in his created works
Section 4 - But man turns ungratefully against God
Man sees his excellencies, and ascribes them to nature instead of God.
If we are just atoms, as Epicurus says, let him tell us what group of atoms tells the body to cook, eat, digest, etc.

Section 5 - the confusion of creature with Creator
The soul transcends the body. What good does astronomy do the body?
The universe can't create itself; it is animated by a Creator.
Nature is the order prescribed by God.

He's in front of your nose

Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 5 - Knowledge of God shines forth in the fashioning of the universe and the continuing government of it
Section 1-10 - God manifested in his created works
Section 1 - The clarity of God's self-disclosure strips us of every excuse
The point of life is to know God (John 17:3).
We are also compelled to see God in His works of creation.
(Psalm 104:2-4; 11:4; Heb 11:3; Ps 19:2; Rom 1:19-20)
Anywhere you look, His traces are plain.

Section 2 - Divine wisdom displayed for all to see
Anyone can see God in creation, not just the well-educated.

Section 3 - Man as the loftiest proof of divine wisdom
Man contains several miracles and attributes of God, within himself.
Acts 17:27-28
Infants show His glory well enough to debate with atheists (Ps 8:2,4).
Paul quotes Aratus in Acts 17:28, that we are God's children.

Knowledge of God Suppressed

Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 4 - This knowledge is either smothered or corrupted,
partly by ignorance, partly by malice
Section 1 - Superstition
Ignorant superstition doesn't excuse, for it is mixed with pride.
They decide what God should be by their own standard.
They worship their own made-up god.
They make up stuff, pridefully wanting to know more than is given.

Section 2 - conscious turning away from God
They say there is no God (Ps 14:1; 53:1).
They do this to "lust unpunished," not because they deny he's there
They are denying His authority over them

Section 3 - we are not to fashion God according to our own whim
Zeal can't mask the error of superstition.
When you worship an idol, you just worship your own desires.

Section 4 - Hypocrisy
Unbelievers fear God and his judgment, with a craven, dread fear.
Believers fear, but also welcome, God's judgment.
The hypocrite wants to appear religious, but trusts himself.
In trouble, the hypocrite seeks God with "perfunctory prayers."

Know Him; Love Him; Fear Him

Book One - Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 2 - What it is to know God, and what it leads to
Section 1 - Piety is required to know God
Piety is "reverence joined with love of God."
Without our sin hindering, the order of nature reveals God to us clearly.
In sin, we can't know God as Father or Savior without Christ (2 Cor 4:6).
It's one thing to sense God created you (Father, Creator);
it's another thing to know Him in Christ (Savior, Redeemer).
There is no truth that does not come from God; 
therefore, no knowledge is religiously neutral.

Section 2 - Knowledge of God involves trust and reverence
Fear and reverence should immediately result from knowing God.
A life not serving God is wickedly corrupt.
Piety doesn't dream up its own gods, nor resist God's authority,
but submits to His judgment and justice.
Real religion is faith in God joined with fear of God, leading to worship.
Ostentatious display in worship seldom accompanies a sincere heart.

Our Poverty compared to God's Majesty

Book One - The Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 1 - The knowledge of God & of ourselves are connected. 
How they are interrelated.
Section 1 - Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God
Wisdom starts with knowing God and knowing yourself (Acts 17:28).
Calvin assumes God's existence, without arguing for it.
Dissatisfied with our misery and poverty we are led to know God; 
not by our knowledge or reason.

Section 2 - without knowledge of God there is no knowledge of self
Knowing God reveals our own sin.
God is the only standard of righteousness.
We are too easily satisfied with counterfeit, earthly shades of holiness.
Things relatively less vile we take as good, when they are yet far short of God's glory.
As long as we don't measure our ethics up to God's image, it will be flattery and hypocrisy.

Section 3 - man before God's majesty
Men in the Bible in God's presence are full of "dread and wonder."
Judg 13:22; Isa 6:5; Ezek 2:1; 1:28; Judg 6:22-23
We have to compare ourselves with God's majesty before we are truly humbled.
God's words to Job are a good example (Job 38ff).
Also Gen 18:27; 1 Kings 19:13; Job 13:28; 7:5; Ps 22:6; Isa 6:2; 24:23; 2:10, 19.
Though knowing God and ourselves are interconnected, proper teaching looks to God first.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We are not rebels

Preface to the King of France, section 7
When the Word is active, Satan "take[s] up arms."
First he tried outright violent persecution, then caviling arguments and the Anabaptist perversions of the Reformation.
Elijah was accused of troubling Israel; Jesus of inciting rebellion; the Apostles of stirring up the people.
When the Apostles saw the Gospel turn the world upside down, they rightly continued preaching Christ, since He was a rock of offense then, and is now.

Preface to the King of France, section 8
We are not seditious; our God is not about confusion or division but of peace (1 Cor 14:33).
We continue to pray for your prosperity, and that of your kingdom, though we are on the run from its officers.
If any lawbreakers try to excuse their misdeeds by appealing to God's grace, punish them as they deserve.
If you don't listen to us, we will go as sheep to the slaughter; but God will avenge us and punish those who persecute us.
"May the Lord, the King of Kings, establish your throne in righteousness, and your dominion in equity, most illustrious King. At Basel, August 1, 1536."

Don't let the Mainline Church Intimidate You

Preface to the King of France, section 5
They appeal to custom against our teaching: bad idea. Custom is often wrong.
We have two choices in the face of overwhelming sinful custom: despair or fight.
When the church persists in error for generations, God brings punishment to the 3rd and 4th generations.

Preface to the King of France, section 6
The Church is based not on externals, but on Christ's reign at the Father's right hand.
They say the Church must be visible, and the Roman bishop is its highest authority.
But what marks the Church is the pure preaching of the Word and the right administration of the Sacraments.
Hilary of Poitiers (circa 350AD) warned the Church against falling in love with buildings. Rome is doing this.
We can't judge rightness in the Church by the mainstream leadership: Aaron erred, as did the prophets opposing Elijah and Jeremiah.

The Early Church would have Protested, too

Preface to the King of France, section 3
They say we teach novelty. It may be new to them, since they don't know the Gospel, the Scriptures, or Christ!
It is only new because it is being reclaimed after a long period of ignorance.
They say we teach uncertain things: let them be martyred for their teachings, and see how certain they are of what THEY teach.
They say we need miracles to confirm our teaching: they were given in the New Testament, to confirm the Gospel which we teach. New miracles aren't needed, for we don't teach a new Gospel.
The miralces Rome points to in order to confirm its teaching are "delusions of Satan," because they move people away from worshiping God.

Preface to the King of France, section 4
The church fathers support us more than Rome.
They weren't perfect, but where they erred, Rome teaches that error, as if they are looking for dung amidst gold.
If they heard Rome's teaching today, they wouldn't even think they were talking about God.

Hear our case, O King

Preface to the King of France, section 1
My intent in writing was to help people understand the basics of the faith.
But the persecution of believers in your land made it necessary to turn it into a defense of Protestants before you.
Don't convict us by mere accusation; hear us out.
We are slandered when they say we mean to topple kings and bring in anarchy.
If it is true, we deserve to be burned at the stake.

Preface to the King of France, section 2
I have "much natural affection" for my homeland, France, but in its current religious state, "do not much regret being excluded."
Ungodly men persecute us, and we go undefended.
A true king considers himself a minister of God in governing his kingdom.
Our adversaries can't stand hearing from us that God should get ALL the glory.
Our adversaries insist on either an implicit faith in the judgment of the church, or on retaining the Mass, purgatory, pilgrimages, etc., both of which keep their bellies full.

Institutes of the Christian Religion

Preface to the reader - 1559
I did not expect the first edition to be so successful.
It was rumored I defected back to Roman Catholicism.
I wrote this to "prepare and instruct candidates in sacred theology for the reading of the divine Word" to understandit themselves, and help others to understand it, too.
My commentaries build on the foundation of doctrine you hold in your hands.

Subject matter of the present work - from the 1560 French edition
I translated it into French to help the less learned understand Scripture better.
Evaluate this book according to the Bible.