Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Calvin Book 1, Chapters 1-3
What comes first...?
Calvin begins by addressing the age-old epistemological question of what comes first, the knowledge of God or the knowledge of self...and he does so brilliantly. Indeed he really doesn't choose between them, but rather holds them as equally ultimate and reflexive. In other words, we can't think about God without thinking about ourselves, and we can't think about ourselves without then thinking of God.
He also defines "true" knowledge of God and speaks of it as a "piety", but means by this that we wed love of God with knowledge of God. In other words, Calvin is not satisfied with static information about God...he believes that knowledge of God, if it is true knowledge, must move a person and impress them deeply.