Many wrongly assume that they know Calvin’s God as the stern God of predestination. Or they wrongly assume that Calvin’s God is the Kingly Sovereign, untouched by human pleadings and unmoved by human suffering as he relentlessly pursues his single-minded inexplicable purpose. But that isn’t Calvin’s God and in fact that isn’t the God known to and worshiped by Christians.
The God Calvin loved, the one true God, is aptly described as follows:
A God who is not holy is no God. A God who is not just or good or true is no God. A God who does not satisfy and surpass our highest conception of ethical ideal is no God. A God who is not supreme over all, who shares the throne of His rule and glory with angel or man or devil, who does not know all things, who does not control all things, whose eyes are closed to any scene of tragedy or distress, whose ears are stopped to any cry of suffering or of need, whose love is quenched by any offense against His holy will, whose arm is bound by any force or fate or law—this is no God. When we hear any one declare that he believes in God, it is necessary to wait until he tells us what kind of a God he believes in that we may be sure that he believes in God at all. Many a qualified theism is, at bottom, an unqualified atheism. — Henry Collin Minton, in Calvin, the Theologian.
Minton has perfectly captured Calvin’s view of God and summarized it in a single paragraph. Never has a better, more specific, and more useful summary been written.
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