Concerning Life as It Is Supposed to Be

Calvin the Poet?

John Calvin was known for his theology and not for poetry. However, this snippet from the introductory sections on the Christian life if not poetic is at least lyrical, and shows just how readable Calvin really is.

This is worth sharing. And pondering.

We are not our own:
let not our reason nor our will therefore sway our plans and deeds.
We are not our own:
let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh.
We are not our own:
in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours.

We are God’s:
let us therefore live for him and die for him.
We are God’s:
let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions.
We are God’s:
let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal.

from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.7.1


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  1. Orthodox Radical

    Amen. The last half iis what we have spent the last months really praying over and putting into practice. It’s amazing how arrogant we can be in our ignorance. It’s more amazing how gracious God is with us.

  2. Orthodox Radical

    Reblogged this on On the Horizon and commented:
    Helpful post from pastor Randy in consider the intellectual landscape of a great Reformed thinker. Also, helpful to consider our own posture to the King.

  3. Beautiful and worthy.

  4. child4

    We liked reading Calvin’s institutes, and found many instances where the writing is quite beautiful.
    Also enjoyed the fact that he doesn’t mince words; he would not be considered polite or politically correct these days.

    • Actually, I find him at times impolite and rude in that regard. I don’t consider his abrasiveness one of his merits, myself. There is a difference between speaking the truth and doing so with gentleness and respect. So, no, I would not consider him polite or politically wise, and I wish he were moreso.

      • His words are certainly full of good advice and to reflect on. Almost sounds like this should be a song. Good point regarding how the message is delivered. Something we all have to remember to work on is delivering the truth, or any message for that matter, with respect.

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