A Day In The Life Of Calvin’s God



Kurtis Dahlin April 11, 1999

John Calvin: the Definition of Sovereignty (c. A.D. 1536)

He foresees the things which are to happen, simply because he has decreed that they are so to happen, it is vain to debate about prescience, while it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment  (Calvin, Inst. III. ch. 23. 6).

Heidelberg Confession: X. The Lord’s Day  (A.D. 1563)

Question 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?

Answer. The almighty and everywhere present power of God; [a] whereby, as it were by his hand, he [b] upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain [c] and drought, fruitful [d] and barren years, meat and drink, [e] health and sickness, [f] riches and poverty, yea, and all things [g] come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.

Westminster Confession of Faith: chapter 5.1 (A.D. 1646)

I. God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.
 
Summary: The Calvinistic Definition of Sovereignty

God orders, decrees, rules, governs, upholds, executes and appoints all things in heaven and earth by his immutable will. Nothing happens by chance. Even devils and wicked men act by the direction of our heavenly Father. Drought, barren years, sickness and poverty come by his Fatherly hand. God foresees all things because he has decreed all things from eternity.

THE PRACTICAL RESULT

How much more harried is the Calvinist’s God who has to go all around the world feverishly arranging every little accident, illness and disaster that happens?  All things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand. God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least.

He has to be at my house all day arranging spilt milk and split lips.  Think of all the chickens consumed in the world everyday.  God has to get up early, run around the world and make sure that every chicken he has ordained for slaughter is caught and killed.  He has to find the ones that ran away and the ones hidden under every chicken coop, all over the entire planet.  Not one chicken, pre-determined since the foundation of the world for daily ration, can be missed.

Besides all this He must race back to my house to convince me not to mow the lawn as my wife requested.  Instead of wasting time irresistibly numbing my mind to my responsibilities, He simply causes the inanimate machine to malfunction.  This shifts the burden of guilt to the machine and not to my laziness.  Since I have a legitimate excuse, my beloved wife is appeased.  Thank you God!  Then God has determined that I should use part of my tithe to pay the local gardeners to mow the lawn.  I make ice tea.  Thank you God!

Seeing that it is still early, God hurries over to Russia to make sure that ever minute detail of His foreordained political plan is fulfilled.  He stops by Germany on the way to ensure proper brewing of all German beer, arrange some car crashes, endless household “accidents” and kidnappings.  It is running late but He still has time to hurry back to my house and stop-up the toilet.  Then it’s off to Washington D.C. to arrange Bill Clinton’s appointment calendar.  Next, God checks His day planner and realizes that He still has to plan a hurricane to devastate Central America.  Then He must hurry back to my house because my little boy needs his daily quota of scuffed knees. It takes God a thousand years to do one days work.

With a schedule like this, it’s no wonder He rests on Saturday.