Calvin: Implicit Faith Is Inescapable

We certainly admit that so long as we dwell as strangers in the world there is such a thing as implicit faith; not only because many things are as yet hidden from us, but because surrounded by many clouds of errors we do not comprehend everything. The height of wisdom for the most perfect is to go forward and, quietly and humbly, to strive still further. Therefore Paul exhorts believers that, if some disagree with others in any matter, they should wait for revelation [Phil. 3:15]. Experience obviously teaches that until we put off the flesh we attain less than we should like. And in our daily reading of Scripture we come upon many obscure passages that convict us of ignorance. With this bridle God keeps us within bounds, assigning to each his “measure of faith” [Rom. 12:3] so that even the best teacher may be ready to learn.

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 3.2.4.

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