AnonymousDeleted UserOctober 15, 2020 at 1:09 am
Thank you for some of the context of this, this was my first time reading Calvin in his own words, and I found it quite engaging, perhaps more than the “Young Restless and Reformed” new calvinist movement. One section that really caught me was on 897 or 7 on our pdf “and indeed, the heathen man is wise in that he judges how dangerous it is to seek from the Lord what our greed dictates; at the same time he discloses our unhappiness, in that we cannot even open our mouths before God without danger unless the Spirit instructs us in the right pattern for prayer” because I really appreciated his invocation of the Holy Spirit as our guide and perfecter and sanctifying interlocutor for our prayers because I think Calvin’s emphasis on perfection of “doctrine” in prayer could be interpreted as a burden upon us to pray in perfect doctrine as opposed to an opportunity to turn our hearts in humility to reliance upon the Triune God- Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The section where he goes in depth about “who can address almighty God as Father with such intimacy” is an example of that emphasis on God’s holiness and glory, while also emphasizing that we can approach with boldness because of our adoption and Jesus our brother and mediator. To me, the role of doctrine is then to give us rest, to know that we can never be perfect in doctrine or orientation of the heart, and must therefore rely upon God instead of our own strength or ability to know or believe perfectly.