1. The Created Order
Calvin’s definitive statement, “Since we must first recognize that all truth and sound doctrine proceed from God...” (pg. 7) is reminiscent of the words of Jesus Christ to Satan (When the Christ was being tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread) in Mathew 4:4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” because in the context of Calvin’s writing, his temptation and that of his brethren were in a context of hunger and deprivation. The created order and the unkind world around them suffered not simply from a lack of propriety towards them, but were actively bent on destroying them.
Jesus Himself expounds the basis for this (Meaning the world’s hatred towards His disciples) in John 15:18 and also Mathew 10:22. Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, not only created man (John 1:3) but as the transcendent God who also penetrated our time space continuum, Jesus also knew man…”But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25 NKJV) Being that Christ was ‘tempted at all points’ (Assuredly from birth to death) and because He was ‘in the world’ He understood how men strive and how his disciples would be tempted. He set a framework of gospel discernment against the created order[vii] and commanded allegiance to Him for redeemed man's salvation and perseverance sake.
The manner in which Christ described man, and therefore the manner in which man is, tells us of the validity of scripture. Consider what Calvin says,
This created order can be fairly assessed by either a cursory glance at human interaction and/or through careful observation into the annals of history (Biblical and Non-biblical) and particularly by Calvin through the personal and interpersonal experiential knowledge of the cruelty and wickedness of man as evidenced by his struggle with his enemies. The fact that the Scriptures are so adequate in describing the nature of man, strike for Calvin, the proper cord to believe in the authority of them.
H. Jack Forstman says “In order to lift man from this morass of error God communicated to him a history of the creation. This history serves both to dispel false notions about the creation and to set bounds to the questions one can legitimately ask concerning the creation.”[xii] This is Calvin’s contention as his cosmology cannot be separated from his view of Scripture. It is informed and marked by it. His high view of God, and low (Some would say properly estimated) view of man, sets the table for his theology. In Calvin’s view, man’s ‘stupidity’ clearly necessitates the need for an authoritative objective view. Man is unable to fully comprehend his Creator, so the Scripture stands as the only means by which men can experience the revealed words of God. The Bible propagates an assertive creation account, and therefore by virtue of its other plain and obvious revealed truths, it can be trusted as an objective authoritative source. Dr. John H. Armstrong echoes this sentiment when he says, “Besides fides divina we also recognize a fides humana, or an argument for the authority of the divine word based on human reason. This argument says: As a natural, rational observation of creation reveals God as its Creator (cf. Romans 1:18ff.), so a rational observation of the teaching of Holy Scripture points to God as its author.”[xiii] (Pg. 129)
3. God’s Created Being
Forstman in his writings asserts that the Bible is ‘pure’ and that all men are “mean, ignorant, and utterly incapable of comprehending God,” (Forstman Pg. 14.) From this pure writing come the diagnosis for the incomprehensive-ness of man which is displayed in the sinfulness of man and his inability to naturally receive (Or even fully understand) God’s good grace towards him. Calvin thought it incredulous that the weight of the authority of scripture be measured against the dictates of the church (Comprised of men.) He asserted that ‘sacrilegious’ men meant to set a tyranny over the ‘simple-minded’ in order to convince them that the church had authority over all things. This is not to be born in the mind of Calvin! Rejecting the Word of God as authoritative in and of itself is tantamount to rejecting Christ, who is the Divine Logos. So there is much to be said in that men who are blinded to this, are also blinded to the fact that church itself is founded upon Scripture (With Christ being Head,) and that a church that feigns to preside over Christ is profane indeed. Christ’s prescription to this error is that men would, by His grace, have their eyes open to truth; and then as Calvin says “the majesty of God will immediately come to view, subdue our bold rejection, and compel us to obey.” (Pg. 79)
We are God’s creatures. Designed and fashioned by Him. It was God who breathed into man the breath of life, and it is God who deems when that breath is taken away. It is rather foolish to assume that men have the ability to discern properly apart from God, and this is evident in the ways in which men, historically (Even currently) professed to be doing that which was pleasing to our Lord by persecuting Calvin and His colleagues in what they considered a means to stomp out a heretical movement. On the one hand, they may have been wholly unaware; or perhaps this demonic activity may have been deliberate against these Christians. Either way, it was these men (And women's) willful desire to stand above God's word (Both subjectively and ecumenically) which promulgated these vicious attacks.
Soli Deo gloria!!