John Calvin against Christian Utilitarianism!

“So our principle should be that we are not using God’s gifts wrongly when we use them for the purpose for which they were intended, since he created them for our good and not for our destruction. This will keep us on the right path. If we think of the reason for the creation of food, we will realize that it was not only for necessity, but for our ENJOYMENT and DELIGHT. So with clothing, the purpose was not only necessity but beauty and honor. With herbs, fruits and trees, there are grace and perfume as well as usefulness. If this was not so, the Psalmist would not list among God’s mercies, ‘wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine’ (Ps. 104:15) The Scriptures would not mention frequently, in reference to his kindness, that he had given such things to us. The natural qualities in his creation often show how they can be rightly enjoyed. Has the Lord given flowers great beauty and perfume, and then made it wrong for us to enjoy it? Hasn’t he given us colors to enjoy and qualities in material things like gold and silver, ivory and marble which make them precious? To sum up: HE GIVES MANY THINGS A VALUE APART FROM THEIR USEFULNESS. So let’s get rid of the inhuman philosophy which only allows necessities. Not only does it wrongly deprive us of legitimate enjoyment of God’s generosity, but it cannot be effected without depriving man of all his senses, reducing him to a block.”

– John Calvin, “Institutes of the Christian Religion”, Part IX, Chapter 10, Article 2-3


~ by shardsofeternity on July 19, 2010.

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