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Rousas John Rushdoony Systematic Theology III. 7

Rousas John Rushdoony Systematic Theology III. 7


Rousas John Rushdoony

Systematic Theology, Volume I, Vallecito, California: Ross House Books, 1994, pp.119-169

1. Creation and Holiness
2. The Goodness of Creation
3. Creation and Providence
4. The Joy of Creation in Providence
5. Neoplatonism and Providence
6. Creation as Revelation
7. Calvin on Providence
8. Naturalistic Providence
9. Providence and Historiography
10. The Unity of Our Faith
11. Providence and Prayer
12. Creationism and Prayer
13. Providence, Faith, and Piety
14. Providence and the Sabbath
15. Creation, Providence, and Responsibility
16. Creation, Providence, and Eschatology
17. Humanistic Providence


7. Calvin on Providence

 The great theological commentary on the doctrine of providence is John Calvin’s. Very clearly, he saw the necessity of setting forth the relationship of the doctrines of creation and providence. Calvin wrote: (p.138)

 We therefore see ourselves as God’s instruments, as Joseph did in Egypt, and, like Joseph, we look behind the immediate evil wrought by men, his brothers, to see the very immediate hand of the Lord. “Yet at the same time a pious man will not overlook inferior causes.”29 (p.143)

29 Ibid., ch. XVII, section IX; I, p.243. (p.143)

 Providence means thus a total meaning to life and history, and a victorious meaning. It means also that we are delivered from anxiety, dread, and care.30 (p.143)

30 Ibid., ch. XVII, section XI; I, p.246. (p.143)

 Without this faith in providence, the mainspring of Christian power and action is gone. God becomes remote, and His government an eternity away. With the doctrine of providence, God and His government, ruling and reigning from the throne of heaven, are still closer to us than we are to ourselves. Then the providential government of God is in the very marrow of our bones, the hairs of our head, and the thoughts of our being. Providence is then in our actions and in the grass beneath our feet, and the sparrows around us. Then too “we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) not only in God but in His providence as a total part thereof. Without a lively faith in providence, man is an outsider in the universe. With it, “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37). (p.143)