Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ignorance of God

In his magnum opus, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin contemplates the knowledge of God that is prevalent in all people, godly or otherwise. One of his proofs is something we have all seen. Unsaved people will often ignore God, mock Christians, despise the Word, and avoid church; until something bad happens. And then the prayers flow; we Christians often show the same flaw. However, Calvin uses this evidence to show that even in the unregenerate their is not complete ignorance of God.

Nay, we have still stronger evidence of the proposition for which I now contend—viz. that a sense of Deity is naturally engraven on the human heart, in the fact, that the very reprobate are forced to acknowledge it. When at their ease, they can jest about God, and talk pertly and loquaciously in disparagement of his power; but should despair, from any cause, overtake them, it will stimulate them to seek him, and dictate ejaculatory prayers, proving that they were not entirely ignorant of God, but had perversely suppressed feelings which ought to have been earlier manifested. (1.4.4)

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