“Of What Good is Fallen Human Nature and Will?”
“They are like a traveler passing through a field at night who in a momentary lighting flash sees far and wide, but the sight vanishes so swiftly that he is plunged again into the darkness of night before he can even take a step, let alone be directed on his way by its help” Book 2 Chapter 2:18
Calvin writes in these opening chapters that the original sin of Adam ruined what God had made good. He writes in (2-1:8) “Original sin, therefore, seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of our soul, which first makes us liable to God’s wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls ‘works of the flesh’.” We are tainted. We are sinful. Sin was not our intended nature, but it is our derangement. We have degenerated from our original condition. Thus our human ‘nature’ and ‘will’ must always be corrupt. (2-1:10)
Calvin also concurs with Augustine in (2-2:8) that the only ‘Free Will’ that we have is ‘a will that is free from righteousness’. Calvin did not care for the term ‘Free Will’ and hoped that it would disappear from the lexicon of the Church Calvin mentions that ‘Predestination’ which will come later on.
Calvin also did not think humanity was capable of much intellect on Spiritual matters because of our fallen nature. (2-2:18) “This spiritual insight consist chiefly in three things: 1. Knowing God; 2. Knowing his fatherly favor in our behalf, in which salvation consist; 3. Knowing how to frame our life according to the rule of his law. In the first two points, and especially in the second, the greatest geniuses are blinder than mole”
At this point I said loud, “Calvin, writer of a four volume set on theology, many have said, What the hell do you know?’”