Tag Archives: john calvin

Content With This One Thing

“Thus it is that we may pass through this life with its misery, hunger, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other troubles – content with this one thing: that our King will never leave us destitute, but will provide for our needs until, our warfare ended, we are called to triumph. Such is the nature of his rule, that he shares with us all that he has received from the Father. Now he arms and equips us with his power, adorns us with his beauty and magnificence, enriches us with his wealth. These benefits, then, give us the most fruitful occasion to glory, and also provide us with confidence to struggle fearlessly against the devil, sin, and death. Finally, clothed in his righteousness, we can valiantly rise above all the world’s reproaches; and just as he himself freely lavishes his gifts upon us, so may we, in return, bring forth fruit to his glory.”

– Calvin, Institutes (p. 499)

Under the Law of Grace

“To be Christians under the law of grace does not mean to wander unbridled outside the law, but to be engrafted in Christ, by whose grace we are free of the curse of the law, and by whose spirit we have the law engraved upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33).” – Calvin, Institutes (p. 421)

Don’t You Love It When That Happens?

Douglas Wilson shared a timely observation on Facebook this morning:

Without the evangelical center, attempts at reform are like assigning a personal trainer to every corpse, in order to escort it to the gym.

Reading in the Institutes this afternoon, I see Calvin had the same thing in mind:

Surely the first foundation of righteousness is the worship of God. When this is overthrown, all the remaining parts of righteousness, like the pieces of a shattered and fallen building, are mangled and scattered. What kind of righteousness will you call it not to harass men with theft and plundering, if through impious sacrilege you at the same time deprive God’s majesty of its glory? Or that you do not defile your body with fornication, if with your blasphemies you profane God’s most holy name? Or that you do not slay a man, if you strive to kill and to quench the remembrance of God? It is vain to cry up righteousness without religion. This is as unreasonable  as to display a mutilated , decapitated body as something beautiful. Not only is religion the chief part but the very soul, whereby the whole breathes and thrives. And apart from fear of God men do not preserve equity and love among themselves. Therefore we call the worship of God the beginning and foundation of righteousness. When it is removed, whatever equity, continence, or temperance men practice among themselves is in God’s sight empty and worthless.

Don’t you love it when that happens?

And Now For Something Completely Different

What if everything you knew about our presidents was just a fraction of the truth?

After reading my review of the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a friend directed me to this poster series by Jason Hauser, who explores “alternative views of famous American presidents” in a style seemingly influenced by the bombastic technique of filmmaker Michael Bay. Can you say cool?

Check out Reagan riding a velociraptor or Jackson as an alien slayer. You can even see Abe Lincoln Reloaded (because four score and seven years ago he took the red pill).

I especially love this one, which re-imagines Washington as a zombie hunter:


And this one, wherein my favorite President takes on Bigfoot:


I think we can all agree that if Teddy was a monster fighter, he’d be the biggest, baddest monster fighter of them all. As he once said, “Speak softly and carry a big machine gun. With lots of ammo. And a flag.”

Re-imagining the presidents is jolly good fun and all, but I was thinking… what if we did something similar for famous theologians? Think about it.

Athanasius: Arian Brawler. Think of him as a small but muscular cage fighter, with a giant tattoo scrawled across his chest that reads Contra Mundum

Tertullian: Marcion’s Bane. He owned a pair of Uzis, affectionately dubbed “Apologia” and “Polemikos.”

Calvin: Wielder of the Institutes. Arguably the greatest warrior in the Reformed Tradition. He also sported an epic beard and carried Tulip Grenades for backup.

Luther: Demolition Monk. His career started when he nailed ninety-five ITBs (Incendiary Thesis Bombs) to a church door. The world has never been the same since.

I’m beginning to have way too much fun with this, so I’ll stop there. Now it’s your turn. Fire away! Let’s see how creative you guys can get.