Theology from the Bottom Up: Do We Start with Man or With God?

“. . . theological work always passes through the observation of man. For we can obtain a doctrine of God only through this, that we perceive things, through which to us the knowledge of God is given, and this takes place in us. The gift requires the recipient and is present only in the recipient. We are only dreaming, not thinking, if we lift our eyes to God without keeping ourselves clearly in view. . ..”  – pg. 14*

But John Calvin disagrees and concludes his first chapter with the following sentence,
“Yet, however the knowledge of God and of ourselves may be mutually connected, the order of right teaching requires that we discuss the former first, then proceed afterward to treat the latter.”




*Adolf Schlatter, Das christliche Dogma (third edition; Stuttgart: Calwer Verlag, 1977), 11-14.

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