Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Chief End of Man

This week I've been reading a book of lectures by Karl Barth called "The Theology of John Calvin". Barth delivered the lectures in 1922 at the University of Gottingen (in Germany) while he served at the university's Professor of Reformed Theology.

In this passage, Barth explains Calvin's beliefs about our purpose of life. He writes that in the in the Geneva Catechism, Calvin explains that,

"God created us and put us in the world in order to be glorified by us. Since he is the origin of our life, it is right that we should place this life in the service of his glory. That this should take place is our supreme good. Should it not, we are in sorrier state than animals. Nothing worse can happen to us than not living our lives for God. And here again we have true knowledge of God in which we know him and come to awareness of the honor we owe him. But the way in which we pay this honor that we owe is fourfold, (1) by putting our whole trust in him, (2) by seeking to serve him with our whole lives and doing his will, (3) by calling upon him in need and seeking salvation and every good thing in him, and finally (4) by recognizing him with heart and mind as the 'sole author' of all good. These four points are the basis for Calvin's presentation of Christianity."
(p. 76-77)

Interesting thoughts,

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