The Other Book – Romans 1:20

tossing the Confession over the wall

About the Knowledge of God – Moreover, we know God by two means, first, by the creation, preservation, and government of this whole world. For it is before our eyes as a most beautiful Book in which all creatures, from the least to the greatest, are as certain letters and marks through which the invisible things of God can be examined and understood, certainly His eternal power and His divinity as the Apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20. This knowledge is sufficient for convicting any given people and rendering them inexcusable. But He also bears His very self to us, much more clearly and openly, in His holy and divine Word; indeed, as much as is expedient in this life for His glory and for the salvation of His own people.  (Belgic Confession, Article 2)

Once yearly I name a Theologian of the Year on Halloween/Reformation Sunday.  This year it was Guido De Bres, primary author of the Belgic Confession.  The above quotation is from Article 2 of that confession, which first came to light when, presumably, De Bres tossed it over the fence of the castle of Doornik on November 2, 1562 (45 years and 2 days after Luther posted his 95 Theses.)  De Bres was trained as a painter of stained glass, came to be a preacher in the underground reformed church in the Netherlands, at the time under the government of Spain.  As remarkable as the line about the world and it’s creatures being like marks in a book, it is more remarkable to know that De Bres had to preach in secret, under constant threat of arrest, and finally died  by the hand of the Inquisition.

So as Bobby McFerrin might have said, “Do Theology; Be Happy!”



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