As I get older I am constantly reminded of how lacking my education has been. I am reading a lot of things I should have read years ago. I am not sure it would have done me any good. I don’t know that I was mature enough. If I am not mature enough now I never will be because there isn’t much time for me to hone my intellect.
Why bother? One of the concepts that was pointed out to me by my reading, I think it was C.S. Lewis, is that I am not preparing for this life. I am preparing for eternity. A small variation does not make a lot of difference over a short period but over a few million years the distance from the target is astronomical.
I have begun reading the Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. I have been criticizing Calvin for years. I figure it might be time to read what he has to say. I don’t know how far I will get but I am off.
Book 1, Chapter 1 was well translated and easy to read. I came across several statements that made me think or at least nod my head. Here is on from paragraph 2,
“ For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white.” 1/1/2He is talking about the sinful nature in man. Not only do we not know what righteousness is, we don’t want to know. Good enough is good enough and the measure of good enough is ourselves. Our flawed perception is why we need straightedges, levels, thermometers and so many other measuring devices.
I hate to admit it but Calvin might be interesting.
homo unius libri