January 29, 2009 3 Comments
I’ve read the Bible solely as an important work of literature. I’ve also read it with the intent of using it as a weapon against the faith of someone who was utterly convinced of its unique divine inspiration.
In fact, it was during this time that I myself became utterly convinced that the Scriptures were of divine origin.
Yes, I know that the Bible “did not arrive by fax from heaven”.
As a matter of fact, Dan Brown might have benefited from reading John Calvin before erecting such an absurd straw man through one of his characters.
How did I become convinced that the Scripture is from God? Well it’s hard to put into words but I think Monsieur Calvin adequately describes my experience here:
Scripture, carrying its own evidence along with it, deigns not to submit to proofs and arguments, but owes the full conviction with which we ought to receive it to the testimony of the Spirit.
Enlightened by him, we no longer believe, either on our own judgment or that of others, that the Scriptures are from God; but, in a way superior to human Judgment, feel perfectly assured—as much so as if we beheld the divine image visibly impressed on it—that it came to us, by the instrumentality of men, from the very mouth of God.
We ask not for proofs or probabilities on which to rest our judgment, but we subject our intellect and judgment to it as too transcendent for us to estimate.
This, however, we do, not in the manner in which some are wont to fasten on an unknown object, which, as soon as known, displeases, but because we have a thorough conviction that, in holding it, we hold unassailable truth; not like miserable men, whose minds are enslaved by superstition, but because we feel a divine energy living and breathing in it—an energy by which we are drawn and animated to obey it, willingly indeed, and knowingly, but more vividly and effectually than could be done by human will or knowledge.
Such, then, is a conviction which asks not for reasons; such, a knowledge which accords with the highest reason, namely knowledge in which the mind rests more firmly and securely than in any reasons; such in fine, the conviction which revelation from heaven alone can produce.
I say nothing more than every believer experiences in himself, though my words fall far short of the reality.
Taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, ch.7, s.5