Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Day of the Final

Our summer Greek final begins in 30 minutes. Prayers are appreciated. Here is mine:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble!
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,
Israel's guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade;
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil,
he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming
both now and forever.

[Psalm 121]

Sunday, July 10, 2005

On This Day in 1509...

John Calvin...John Calvin was born in Noyon, Picardie, France. He is, of course, most famous for his massive work Institutes of the Christian Religion, one of the foundational theological works of reformed Christianity, especially Presbyterianism. One of Calvin's essential tenants is the centrality of Scripture to Christian theology. From the Institutes:
Just as old or bleary-eyed men and those with weak vision, if you thrust before them a most beautiful volume, even if they recognize it to be some sort of writing, yet can scarcely construe two words, but with the aid of spectacles will begin to read distinctly, so Scripture, gathering up the otherwise confused knowledge of God in our minds, having dispersed our dullness, clearly shows us the true God.1
For many Presbyterian seminarians, particularly those attending my seminary, Calvin's definition of faith is etched firmly in the brain. Faith is:
A firm and certain knowledge of God's benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.2
1 Institutes of the Christian Religion from the Library of Christian Classics edition (LCC 20 and LCC 21) edited by John T. McNeill and translated by Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), 1.6.1.
2 Ibid. 3.2.7.