Friday, 15 January 2016

Calvin's Institutes. Book I, Chapter 15

This is the post #15 of the Calvin's Institutes summary series.

  Knowledge of God is not well rounded without the knowledge of man (as said in chapter 1).
  God created humans with no evil in them but only good, and we must never accuse God for making human nature evil. Evils in human nature only come from the corruption of the initial human nature, which was purely good.
 A human being is made of a soul and a body. While both are important as God made both to make up a human being, it is the soul that bears God's image in a special way, not the body. The body bears God's image just as the rest of the creation bears God's image in some way. The soul is what makes human beings the special image bearers of God. Beware of Osiander's teaching that God's image extends to both the body and the soul. (see discussions in section 3).
  The true nature of the image of God should be learned from the resurrection life which the Bible teaches about. This is so, because all human beings are now fallen from the initial state of creation, and so corrupted, we cannot discern the true image of God from human beings as we are now.
  The human soul is not an extension or part of God, but is created by God.
  Philosophers sometimes spoke rightly about the human soul and sometimes wrongly because they only looked into the human beings that are already corrupted since the Fall. Some of their teachings on the human soul are still useful, however. A better way to think about the human soul is to that it consists of two faculties, understanding and will. "Understanding" approves or disapproves certain things or a course of action. "Will" chooses what the "understanding" approves and rejects what it disapproves. Adam could have remained pure and even obtain eternal life, if he exercised his will according to his understanding. Therefore, it was entirely Adam's own fault for the Fall, never God's. Also, it was not necessary for God to create Adam initially in such a way to prevent the wrongful use of his will, because Adam's Fall would have only occasioned a further glory for God.

No comments: