Calvin's Epistemology Essay

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“How is it possible to know anything at all?” John Calvin gives his answer to this timeless question in Chapters 1-3 of his Institutes. His theory of epistemology is based on his belief that humans are naturally aware of God. He also asserts two fundamental knowledges- God and self- and he elaborates upon the relationship between the two.

I. Biography of John Calvin
A. Birth and childhood
B. Schooling and further education
C. Early works and accomplishments
II. How is it possible to know anything?
III. John Calvin
A. brief introduction of the Institutes
B. Calvin’s theory of epistemology
1. Humans have a natural awareness of God.
a. our minds
b. nature
2. knowledge of God
a. requires holiness
b. requires knowledge of self
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There, he sought more education, and opted to further his intellectual career. Years later in 1536, Institutes of the Christian Religion, was released by Calvin himself in Basel, Switzerland.6 To this day, it remains one of the most important and influential literary works regarding theology. This piece also made Calvin known as a key follower of Protestantism. His theory of epistemology is based on his belief that humans are naturally aware of God. He also asserts two fundamental knowledges- God and self- and he elaborates upon the relationship between the two.7
How is it possible to know anything at all? Theologians and philosophers across the ages have contemplated, debated, and wrote about this timeless question. There have been many proposed theories, and many still exist while others have been modified, or totally abandoned. As Christians, we like to use “God” as the answer for everything we do not understand, so one might respond, “God allows us to know things.” Okay, yes, in a sense, because He is absolutely sovereign, so anything at all that ever occurs happens with his permission.8 While this simplistic answer may be enough for the

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