As I pursue doctoral work on John Calvin and the Lord’s Supper, I’m reading through the Institutes as well as his Commentaries, in addition to a plethora of books and articles on Calvin. I’m constantly struck at how practical and pastoral Calvin is. The caricature of Calvin as a logic-chopping and fire-breathing predestinarian is simply not true (though Calvin does breathe fire at times!). So, I’d thought I’d highlight the practical and pastoral side of Calvin is a series of posts.
Calvinists have a low view of man because we have a high view of God.
“Thus, from the feeling of our own ignorance, vanity, poverty, infirmity, and–what is more–depravity and corruption, we recognize that the true light of wisdom, sound virtue, full abundance of every good, and purity of righteousness rest in the Lord alone. To this extent we are prompted by our own ills to contemplate the good things of God; and we cannot seriously aspire to him before we begin to become displeased with ourselves,” (Institutes, I.1.i).
Calvinists stress the sinfulness of man because we want to exalt the holiness of God.