Monday, May 23, 2011

The Brain in Spain...

Actually, this post has nothing to do with Spain. It does, however, have something to do with brains!

In our evening service at Covenant Baptist Church we have been studying the Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. Last night we began to take a look at Book Two, which is titled, "Of the knowledge of God, the Redeemer in Christ, as first manifested to the fathers under the law, and thereafter to us under the Gospel." With titles like that, Calvin would never even get published today.

 In Book Two, Calvin gets to the Law and the Gospel. Along the way, he discusses the fall, sin, and "common grace," although he doesn't call it that. He particularly applies this concept to the human, fallen mind. 

We often use the phrase "the rain falls on the just and the unjust," from Matthew 5:45 to describe this understanding. It occurred to me that we might adjust this statement just a bit, without doing harm to Biblical teaching, to state that, "the brain falls on the just and the unjust," as well.

In applying this thought, I recognize that such folk as Stephen Hawking, are brilliant individuals. The man could think circles around me before he wakes up in the morning. Intellectually, the man is far (far, far) superior to me. 

Yet, I know that Jesus Christ died for me. I didn't come to this understanding by intellectual might, but by the gift of God. I didn't earn this wisdom by great nights of laborious study. God gave it to me. 

That's a different kind of Grace. It's not common, it's special; it's saving. "Saving grace" is eternal favor from God conferred upon those whom He has chosen. We find its expression in such verses as Ephesians 1:11 - "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will."

I'm not picking on Mr. Hawking. He's brilliant, unquestionably. I just used his name because he represents to me very smart people who have received, by common grace, the ability to think well. I do pray for him that he receive Biblical "wisdom" as well, wisdom which leads to an understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

BTW, for a great audio series on the Institutes, you can download (free) an entire course from my old Church History professor David Calhoun.

THIS JUST IN: Interestingly, after I posted this, I came across an interesting article on Mr. Hawking in a FaceBook post. It can be found HERE.


Bethany Kaczmarek said...

You said, "With titles like that, Calvin would never even get published today." It made me smile. And ain't it the truth?

Thanks for the reminder of God's goodness, graciousness, and sovereignty. (Why does that look like it's spelled wrong?)

Stop over at my blog, if you want, and read my new post about being a good steward of the Now.

My family is continually lifting yours up! Blessings!

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