Archives For John Calvin

Australia receives snow in its Alpine regions and on its higher inland plateaus. For those areas that’s freezing.

For everywhere else, it’s freezing if the temperature gets to anything below 12 degrees Celsius (53.6 Fahrenheit).

For us, this means that homeschooling gets a little easier. Winter and reading go hand in hand. We don’t have to navigate the Australian heat. We just have to aim at keeping warm.

It doesn’t appear to matter which culture you come from. Short, cold days, and the inner warmth of houses, incubate tranquillity.

Creating an environment which encourages us to slow down, sit, zone out and learn from the stillness that surrounds us.

Picking up a book and reading it isn’t just easy, it’s tempting and looked forward to.

Our dedicated reading list this winter is fairly straight forward.

1. Trends in Food Technology: Food Processing (Anne Barnett)

I was apprehensive about taking this on. It appeared to be full of jargon, almost unusable. Since working through the 43 pages, however, I haven’t regretted the decision. Barnett’s approach is conversational. She also provides a glossary in the back for bold text words featured throughout the book.

Food Technology fits in perfectly with our PD.H.PE curriculum needs, discussing a range of areas including food processes, preservation, flavorings, fats, oils, and key distinctions. One I’m seriously considering adding permanently to our library.

2. The Reason & The Mystery (Lacey Sturm)

If you’re tagging along with me on the internet somewhere, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that we like Lacey Sturm. I read Lacey’s book, ‘The Reason’ in 2015 and wrote some thoughts on it, which can be found here [Review: The Reason].

Whilst the idea did occur to me, at that time I had no plans on using it for homeschool. However, believing the subjects discussed and the overall way Lacey handles those subjects, I decided to include ‘The Reason’ in our core texts for both Junior and Senior High School. Attached to this decision was the intention to follow this up with ‘The Mystery’.

As per our goal, we’ve completed ‘The Reason’ and are now moving through ‘The Mystery.’

These books were also chosen because of similarities between my own journey and that of Lacey’s. I think most people who’ve walked through darkness and pick this book up would find some form of consolation.

Those who haven’t receive an open window into a world of brokenness they may not fully understand or know little about. I ran an open discussion per chapter, which inspired productive and passionate dialogue between, and with my two older homeschoolers. Key learning areas include music appreciation and PD.H.PE. Each book raises topics that provide for a holistic lesson on physical development, mental health, boundaries and relationships.

3. Explore the World of Man-Made Wonders (Text by Simon Adams &  Illustrations by Stephen Biesty)

The journey we took together here wasn’t dull. We even managed to link in Matt Damon’s movie, ‘The Great Wall.’ Simon Adams and Stephen Biesty have created an illustrative tour which moves from the leaning Tower of Pisa, to the Pyramids onto St. Basil’s Cathedral, in Russia.

Add in a tablet and Google Earth, this activity became a whirl wind tour of some pretty cool sites. I think the only sour note for our homeschoolers, was having to the book work after it.

4. The Rime of The Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Similar to the previous book, I linked in a movie. This to me was a natural progression. The content of the poem can be seen reflected in The Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl. This might be news to some, but I guarantee you, there’s got to be a link somewhere.

Coleridge’s poem is big enough to be a small book. A very small book, of course, but a book none the less. If you have never read it, or are looking for an easier way to teach it, I used a PDF version – which can be sourced [here]. The length isn’t big enough to be a problem. I used three copies and lead from my treasured Penguin book of Coleridge Poems.

Finally, I added the book of Numbers to the schedule for this term. We’ve pulled through it and loved every second of it; made even more insightful thanks to John Calvin’s Commentary, a bit of Sun Tzu and some material from Charles Spurgeon.

All of which, while dated, still find traction in the connection between relevance, rubber and road.  Some of which I discussed in a somewhat well received (for me and my stats anyway) post called, Orderly Disorder: The Book of Numbers & Sun Tzu’s Five Pitfalls of a General.


Related reading:

Our Current Read & Discuss List (The 2017 Autumn Edition)
Our Current Read & Discuss Lists (The 2016 [Fashionably Late] Spring Edition)
Our Current Read & Discuss Lists (The 2016 Fashionable Winter Edition)
Tandem Reading & Technology

IMG_20130627_191543I have long been a subscriber to the idea that hate is not a sin. However, I need to qualify this statement by firstly saying that: a) my alignment with this theory is a work in progress and b) my current theological understanding is that unless hatred is answered through confession with reconciliation as its goal, it will lead to sin.

For example: 1 Jn.3:15 in context would read ‘wherever hatred is, there is an inclination to do mischief’ (John Calvin, Institutes VIII:347).

Reconciliation and forgiveness are the primary spheres in which transformation is achieved, and it begins with the process of confession.

Ambrose of Milan stated that: ‘if you have confessed at the call of Christ the bars will be broken, and every chain loosed’ (Ambrose of Milan).

In a similar theological vein Karl Barth viewed confession as a referral and submission ‘to a higher tribunal confronting both partners with concrete authority’ (‘Church Dogmatics a selection’, Helmut Gollwitzer); to ‘lay our weapons down’ (John Mayer ‘Heartbreak warfare’, 2009 )

Unconfessed hatred is counter-productive. It leaves us like a ship lost at sea, left with only the stars to navigate by. Only then to find frustration with clouds that are constantly obscuring our efforts.

The outcomes of unresolved and concealed hate are inevitably confusion, anxiety, fear and rage – dysfunctional relationships – as such ‘no one really ever wins’ (John Mayer ‘Heartbreak Warfare’, 2009)

Consequently we become desperate for direction as our judgement increasingly becomes shrouded in fog.

We then abdicate our responsibility to speak the truth. We compromise on our Christian commitment to hope because our moral compass is exchanged for self-preservation, and we abandon the north star finding ourselves drifting deeper into a sea of brokenness and despair.

The counter to this is entering into a confession-that-seeks-truth. This is like choosing to drop the eggs instead of walking over them gently. Working on ways to help those around us ‘understand our pain’ (John Mayer, 2009).

If I say or act in love towards you, yet harbor hatred in my heart I conceal the truth. I am forced to lie in order to keep-the-peace. The problem with this approach is that appeasement tends to only ever benefit those who are appeased [1].

The strength in confession is when we confess our hatred, we can immediately be released from the burden the precarious nature of hatred brings, one which hangs around our neck like a rotting albatross. Confessing hate allows us to process and communicate reasons for such a response.

Only then can the movement towards resolution be enacted. Of course any confession requires being wise in how and who we express that confession to. Confrontation, context, tone and timing are also important considerations.

Sadly, Western society is increasingly being pressured from within to tolerate everything in order to appease post-modern politically correct sensitivities. How can falsehoods be confronted if it is not permissible to do so?

It is true that hate is a strong word that is loaded with emotion. Hate is defined by thesage as being an ’emotion of intense dislike so strong that it demands action’. Goodrick & Kohlenberger write that the Hebrew word for hate is:  שׂנא ‘sane’ which means to be unloved, shunned, disliked, an adversary.

That is why it has become a whip statement, a term utilised to shame and ridicule dissenters into silence with overly generalised terms such as Christians are ‘ignorant, anti-science, haters and bigots’. Such emerging social conventions should not be allowed to bind us into maintaining false appearances via restrictions on the freedom to confront falsehoods, be it society, science, left, right, church or state.

For the biblical authors the existence of falsehoods demand action.

Ps.119: 104 ‘Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Pr. 26:24-26 ‘People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you. They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils. While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public’ (NLT)
Pr.8:13 ‘The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate’.
Pr.13:5 ‘The righteous hates falsehood’
Eccl.3:8 ‘a time to love, and a time to hate’
Eph.4:26-27 ‘Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil’.

A few years back an estranged relative asked me the question ‘how can you be a minister with so much hate?’ Since then my response has been: “please don’t confuse telling-the-truth with hatred, tolerance with silence and silence with love.”

The act of confession is a compassionate and humble act towards others in grateful response to Father, Son and Spirit. Through ‘open confession’ (Ambrose) and humility, truth speaks through the community. For example Barth writes that `theology is impossible without humility because the truth at issue is a person who says : ”I am the truth” (Jn. 14); (Church Dogmatics, a selection).

Jean Bethke Elshtain puts it this way:

‘Our ideas have to meet the test of being engaged by others, far better than having people retreat into themselves and nurture a sense of grievance, rage and helplessness…thoughts must be tested in the public square where you have to meet certain standards…we must be careful not to confuse tolerance with complete and total embrace…total acceptance does not mean universal love’ (Maxwell School Lecture, State of Democracy 2013).

Therefore confess hate, speak truth and drop the eggs, watch the lies disintegrate. It may hurt, you may lose, but lose boldly with the hope that those who reject truth return to truth refined, renewed and rescued. Refuse to walk on egg shells, and instead clean up the pieces left behind, lovingly inviting others to do the same.

The truth is much more precious and valuable than any sugar-coated version of it we can create. There are never two sides to a story. There is only ever one story which evidently has multiple perspectives.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: ‘there is but one reality and that is the reality of God, which has become manifest in Christ in the reality of the world’ (Ethics, 195)

To love is not only to understand that Christians are called to speak truth-in-love but to also understand that love-speaks-truthfully. As the words attributed to Solomon so wisely put it:

 ‘Open rebuke is better than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV)

Loving ourselves is hard, loving our enemies? Even harder. (Lk.6:20-45)


Sources:

Ambrose of Milan, Concerning Repentance Kindle Edition.

Barth, K. Church Dogmatics: A Selection With Introduction by Helmut Gollwitzer (Kindle Locations 1050-1051). Kindle Edition.

Bonhoeffer, D. Ethics Kindle edition.

Calvin, J Institutes of the Christian Religion Eerdmans

Goodrick, E.W & Kohlenberger, J.R 1991 NIVAC: Strongest NIV exhaustive concordance Zondervan

Meier, P. & Wise R. 2003 Crazy Makers: getting along with the difficult people in your life (particularly chapter twelve) Thomas Nelson Publishers Nashville

[1] Historically speaking, nowhere is this more evident than in British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s ‘’gift’’ of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler in the 1938 Munich agreement.

(RL2013)

Judah

June 5, 2017 — Leave a comment

Of all the instrumentals I’ve put together this year, there are three that I struggle to really like. Either it’s a case of me rushing the production, or not spending enough time, during the recording process, on synchronizing the rhythm.

I’m okay with them. As I’ve said before on these kinds of posts, the instrumentals that I am putting together are done in under 7 hours. It’s one way of attempting to stretch myself artistically.

Plus, I see my YouTube channel as a public art process diary, not a money making venture. It will contain my musical flaws, faults and not-so-good recordings. Warts and all.

I’m not suggesting that my work ethic is slack or that I am lax in how I create. The music is genuine, or as genuine as I can get it to be given my lack of practice over the years and current technological limitations. All in all, I’ll give it my best shot and make an effort to learn from every bump, and blister along the way.

One of those instrumental songs is called, ‘Judah.’ Teaching through Numbers 23 this morning reminded of the fact that I hadn’t yet posted the instrumental or given any commentary on it.

The passage in Numbers which triggered this is where Balaam sets out to curse Israel. This ”mercenary prophet” [John Calvin’s words, not mine] is set up to curse Israel a second time, however he’s met with only that which God has allowed him to speak, saying:

‘[…]The Lord their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them. God brings them out of Egypt and is for them like the horns of a wild ox […] Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up and as a lion it lifts itself.’
(Numbers 23:18-24, ESV)

Calvin writes, ‘God will never cease to be gracious to His children, until He has led them to the very end of their course […] Israel, like a lion, shall be bold and strong, prompt in their resistance if any should provoke them.’ [i]

This is linked in with Genesis 49:9, where Judah is described as a ‘lion’s cub’. This is then later connected to the statement about Jesus, by John in Revelation,

‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered.’
(Revelation 5:5, ESV)

Calvin writes,

‘the Tribe of Judah excelled in bravery. The sum is, that however, the people of Israel might be attacked on every side, it should be endued with invincible fortitude, to overcome all assaults, or to repel them vigorously. This courage was counted among the gifts of God.’ [ii]

With both art and sound, I had made an attempt to paint the tenacity of bravery in the midst of pain and breathless brokenness; of courage; of joy; of being awakened to the reminder that our strength is the joy of the Lord, and it radiates out from God’s holiness and grace.

As for the creative process, all the rhythm was created using a semi-acoustic layered over another semi-acoustic, bass and lead were done on an electric. The drums were sequenced via Garage band. The artwork was a fast drawn add-on.


References:

[i] Calvin, J. Commentary on Numbers

[ii] ibid.

kb-quote-cd-2-2-695-rl2016

 

Since reading the above quote, its been lingering in the back of my mind. So much so, that after posting it as a text on both Twitter and Facebook, I felt it needed more airplay. So, to really make it stand out, I decided make it into a bit of a meme.

My initial goal was to finish reading volume 2/2 at the end of last year. I still made significant progress and am nearing the end, but given other priorities that didn’t happen.

The journey through the text, overall, has coincided with some great opportunities to learn more about John Calvin and engage further in the controversial steps Barth took to place Jesus Christ in the centre of Calvin’s doctrine of election and pre-destination; what theologians call, a more definitive Christocentric view of election. Whereby Barth reforms and in doing so rejects the post-Calvin, hyper-Calvinist baggage attached to Calvin’s original intention and notably myopic [to be generous to Calvin, I lean more towards the word “incomplete”] doctrine of election.

For instance: our election is the election of Jesus Christ. This IS God’s electing. God’s will for us, that we should be with Him and He should be with us. As I’ve summed up this in the past, Jesus Christ, is God’s revolt against the disorder of the world.

Jesus represents all of humanity. There is no elite humanity. There is only grace and its command to follow. For all fall short of the glory of God and are raised to righteousness, and eternal life, in Jesus Christ. The distinction between unbeliever and believer remains. This distinction, though, is exactly as it infers, faith in Christ; those who call upon the name of the Lord – grace poured out upon us to empower us towards grateful obedience even in the midst of our ungrateful disobedience – this is the responsibility of our response to the irreversible election that God Himself has already lovingly decided and acted powerfully upon.

I could go on and probably will in a future post, but this, by itself, makes Church Dogmatics 2/2 one of the most interesting works from Barth.

However, while this part has sharpened of my own theological understanding, it’s the latter part of 2/2 that I’ve taken more of a shine to. What I’ve found interesting its Barth’s discussion on theological ethics; what it is; where it begins, and who it begins with. This is one of those specific areas where Barth’s political theology comes into a more obvious light. To justify that, it would require more room to explain it, than the 500 words I’ve aimed it here.

To fully understand what Barth means in the quote posted above, it’s helpful to look at where in his epic, Church Dogmatics, this falls.

Barth is talking about grace being both invitation and imperative, e.g.: Jesus calls us to follow. He goes on to discuss the responsibility of a human response to the grace of God, on the grounds of the Sermon on the mount and its close, affirming relationship with the Ten Commandments.

Ethics & morality as far as the biblical witness goes is grateful obedience; it is at its heart relational; it is lived out response to grace; to what has been done by the God who chooses to be for us. God commits to us, we are not only given the freedom to follow, but are commanded to do so.

It is not an idea that can be misconstrued by humanity and turned into a universal human principle and as such become a puffed up toxic human achievement empty of God.


Source:

Barth, K. 1942 The Command As The Decision Of God; The Definiteness of the Divine Decision, CD 2/2 The Doctrine of God, Hendrickson Publishers

read-and-discussWe’ve just entered summer in the southern hemisphere, which means that we’re real close to summer break.

The spring in my step since our last homeschool reading list update was diverted, so this Spring reading list is belated.

Here’s some of what we’ve recently been reading:

For homeschool:

1. The Wombles Go Round the World (Elisabeth Beresford, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Not long ago I initiated a quick introduction to stop motion animation. One of the ways I did this was to show our Homeschoolers some short videos of The Wombles. I grew up watching the episodes after school.

They’re unique, quirky and imperfect. To see what I mean check out their official YouTube channel. The Wombles are recyclers. They reuse things humans discard. It’s this cultural attribute that also makes the Wombles a helpful teaching tool in lessons on creation care.

To our surprise, on a recent visit to the local library, we discovered that they had a novel featuring them.

The Wombles go round the World, is an exciting story, which happens to include a visit to Australia, strange food like bracken bun and acorn juice. In two air balloons, Orinoco (who is always hungry, like Garfield) and Bungo, head off in one direction; Wellington and Tomsk go in another. The novel captures the same unique, quirky imperfection found in the stop motion series.

2. The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (William Doyle, Oxford University Press)

Doyle’s work on introducing the French Revolution and the reign of terror which followed it, is outstanding. I was a little unsure of introducing these introductions, given the University level of reading. However, our two teens tackled the topic with interest and relative ease.

The highlight for me was hearing them refer back to the book when discussing characters in a movie. They also showed a passionate understanding of the paradox where inequalities and injustices were created by those who fought for justice and equality. It’s inspired me to pursue more topics and pad that with free lectures from Universities such as Yale online.

3. Viking Longboats

Unfortunately I forgot to record the author and the publisher for this one. Overall, Vikings Longboats is a fun and information read. It has well drawn illustrations positioned around well researched information. What we found particularly exciting was reading a history book that includes a positive presentation of the Vikings conversion to Christianity.

As a rule I limit borrowing of library books to four during the term. They can borrow any book from the junior fiction section, as long as the final four includes one non-fiction choice.

We borrow, on average, 24 books at one time, so I see it as an important lesson in decision-making. Finding good reasons for our choices is practicing discernment and responsibility.  Vikings Longboats was one of those fine picks.

4. The Book of Exodus with John Calvin’s Commentary

Throughout the past few months we have worked our way through the book of Exodus. Each of our homeschoolers has the New Living Translation and takes turns reading a chapter out loud. We’ve followed directly on in our reading from Genesis. It’s drumming home God’s reminder about who He is.

For instance, if God was selling an idea of Himself, he’s P.R work needs adjusting, but that’s not what both Genesis and Exodus does. Both books speak of God’s revealing of himself to humanity as God. Christians, therefore, don’t worship a human idea of God, but the true God who makes Himself known to us. Faith acknowledges this truth, reason follows it.

To balance out things, I use the English Standard Version. For this time round I decided to work with John Calvin’s Exodus commentary. I wanted to see how Calvin handled the topic; where he went with the issues of tyranny and liberation.

As of today we just passed chapter 36 and are heading towards completing this journey just in time for the beginning of the holidays. The result is that I’m no less a fan of Calvin. It’s also helped me to introduce our homeschoolers to another key historical figure from the Protestant reformation, in a real and relevant way.

5. The Works of Banjo Patterson (Banjo Patterson, Wordsworth Editions)

As part of our Australian history curriculum focus this year, we’ve added the Works of Banjo Patterson. He was an Australian poet, probably best known for penning the unofficial Aussie anthem, ‘Waltzing Matilda’. The Works are part of getting to know a richer part of Australian history from the early 20th Century and how that has impacted Australian culture.

What I’m reading:

1. The Theology of Schleiermacher: A condensed presentation of his chief work (George Cross, 1911)

I’ve written a little about this new reading project here: Reading Schleiermacher In Context: Moravian Theology & The Twilight Of The Enlightenment

2. Endangered Gospel (John Nugent, 2016 Wipf & Stock Pub.)

Nugent’s book is good. He brings up a discussion about what it means to be Church in a society flooded with secular humanist social justice and charities. He’s main point so far: ‘When Jesus said, love others. He meant love other Christians, not those in the world.’ That’s me paraphrasing him, but it conveys the guts of his thesis.

He dances around the issue of replacing of Jesus as the Gospel, with either the moralist gospel, on the right, or the social gospel, on the left. I was hoping that he’d be blunter about that. Stating it as it is, but unfortunately what straight talk there is, is skewed by what seems to be a quest by Nugent to avoid the politics. Not something I think can be evaded when it comes to a topic he’s writing about. [I’ve got a blog post pending on this one]

For Aussie kids, summer means pool time, practicing sun safety with slip, slop, slap, shirt; cooking, long lunches in the shade and some well earn’t down time.

What it means for us homeschoolers, though, is a change of gears. Like a lot of home education, we might slow down in our learning, but we don’t completely stop.

Our homeschool reading this year has been exciting and we’ve been more deliberate in our reading choices. With the upcoming summer reading competition at our local library, we’re gearing up for a bonzer reading season!

Calvin quote John CommentaryBuilding a stronghold against our insecurities means being honest with ourselves about our strengths and limitations.

There is the issue of anxiety, of course, but once insecurity is pushed back, the natural response we feel when we experience anxiety can be used to fuel those strengths and improve any limitations.

As Brene Brown (2010) brilliantly highlights in her book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’, any extreme uneasiness that we may feel is unmanageable becomes instead an energizing motif that motivates us to be free, but responsible, with our vulnerability.

Wholeheartedness requires ordinary courage…Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary’[i].

This doesn’t expel with reason and boundaries, in what and how we communicate. Brown’s conclusion involves discernment as much as it involves seeing that extraordinary courage is about being wholeheartedly courageous in the ordinary.

There have been times when I’ve ‘dropped the ball’. I struggle with the echoes of a broken past and I’ve encountered issues with insecurity in communication. These are times when I haven’t kept or been able to keep insecurity and anxiety in check. An example of this is the headline of a post a few weeks back where I misspelled the word ‘disposition’ (since corrected).

I’d like to think that those posts and mistakes are extremely rare, and only exist as an anomaly in an otherwise informative, (albeit eclectic?), sometimes deep but accessible, theological blog. It would be unrealistic and ultimately unhelpful to think that those flaws didn’t exist.

Those of you who are writers with dysfunctional upbringings, or those who are regular readers here will know what I mean.

My point is that we all in some way combat our own sense of inadequacy and no matter how hard we try, the stress caused by that battle, like scars, will sometimes show.

Think about how many times you may find yourself fighting off self-condemnation when we fail to nail that ever elusive ‘perfect’ blog post.

Insecurity can hinder our goals, which for me is seeking to make Karl Barth, et.al, more accessible. If I gave in, I’d post nothing, fearing rejection; that any contributions to theology that I might make is seen as superfluous because of where I come from. However, to give in to this would be a mistake because it means surrendering my strengths, by allowing myself to be overwhelmed by my limitations – some inherited, some conditioned and others of my own making.

{I don’t mean the careful editing process any writer needs to allow room for; I’m referring to the O.C.D tendency that is attached to excessive editing caused when a writer or artist compares their style of writing and content to others we may see as being ”better than” ourselves.}

In the end our writing and the publishing of that work is an act of faith.

In the end it belongs to God. It requires resting broken, fallible words into His infallible hands, for Him to mold and use as He wills.

There, in our nightmares, we who cry out almost breathlessly, ‘Jesus please help me’, will hear the words “Jesus is Victor” spoken back to us; and as the nightmare fades on our hearts realignment with this truth, God, through the Holy Spirit, will teach us how, even in the midst of our breathtaking-tears, we can still find life.

This is where one of Calvin’s statements in his commentary on John finds traction today:

Christ’s voice gives life; As Christ is the only mirror of the grace of God, we are taught…that we ought not to judge the love of God from the condition which we see before our eyes’[ii]

Once we neutralize our insecurity by telling ourselves the truth, by trusting in God’s claim on us that says we are capable, accepted, and loved, we begin our journey towards eliminating the obstacles that stop clear and effective communication.

This will, from the beginning, make us better people, more authentic Christians and better communicators.

Sources:

[i] Brown, B. 2010 The Gifts of Imperfection Hazelden Kindle Ed. (p.12-13)

[ii] Calvin, J: 1509-1564 Commentary of John Sourced from CCEL.org (p.364-365)

 

Weekend Kick-starter

…’Nothing is more natural than for spring, in its turns to succeed winter, summer spring, and autumn summer; but in this series the variations are so great and so unequal as to make it very apparent that every single year, month, and day, is regulated by a new and special providence of God’.

(John Calvin, ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’ (Kindle ed. Loc. 3601-3607)