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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Recent School Shooting: Calvin's Calvinism - "A Defence of the Secret Providence of God" - Section III




"God's purpose is, by the wicked acts of men, to chastise some and to exercise the patience of others." -- John Calvin


Is God the author of sin and the evil acts of men?  Of course not.  But calumniators mendaciously attack the Scriptural doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty over even the evil acts of men.  If God is not in control of all that happens, then these stupid fools make both God and His elect subject to the attacks of evil doers and of Satan Himself--and there is nothing God can do about it if we take them at their word.  But God is not the primary cause of evil choices by men and demons.  He may be the "ultimate" cause of all that happens but free moral agents are not absolved from their own choices.  

Furthermore, God brings His own purposes to pass out of the many evil acts that happen in the world.  (Romans 8:28-32).  Calvin's remarks in Calvin's Calvinism and the Institutes of the Christian Religion  (Book I, Chapter 18:1-4) are pertinent to the recent shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut:

Let readers consider also, if they please, what I have written in my Commentary on the Second Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. [Cf. Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27, 28] Men (I have there shown), when they commit theft or murder, sin against God because they are thieves and murderers, and because, in their theft and in their murder, there is wicked design. But God, who makes sovereign use of their wickedness, stands in an infinitely different, and in an all-high position above all men, and acts, and things. And the objects and ends of God are infinitely different from, and higher than, those of men. God's purpose is, by the wicked acts of men, to chastise some and to exercise the patience of others. Hence, in all these His uses of the evil doings of men, God never deviates in the remotest degree from His own nature; that is, from His own infinitely perfect rectitude. If, then, an evil deed is thus to be estimated according to its end and object, it is fully manifest that God is not, nor can be, the author of sin!  Calvin's Calvinism - "A Defence of the Secret Providence of God" - Section III

While we might not understand why God ordains such horrific events, it is beyond blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to accuse God of injustice in anything He does.  (Psalms 115:3).  We can only trust that God can and will bring good from the same evil acts that evil men meant for evil .  It is beyond all doubt that God will bring glory to Himself.  (Genesis 50:20; Psalm 76:10; Revelation 15:4).

God's peace be with all who believe the Gospel,

Charlie

Romans 5:1, 2; Romans 8:1, 2

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