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2.26.2013

Labyrinth and abyss

"[T]wo concepts that were fundamental to Calvin's speech and thought: labyrinth and abyss. For Calvin, these are the two forms of the ultimate experience of misery. Calvin took the word labyrinth from the humanistic tradition, where it was used pejoratively against scholasticism. For him, it represented a way of thinking that entangled a person and caused him or her to lose the way to God and self. In this life, humans find themselves in the labyrinth by nature. Only by holding onto the Scriptures as onto Ariadne's thread or, to use a Christian expression, as a guide for the journey to eternity can one escape from the labyrinth unscathed. As to the "abyss," people end up in it when they fall from God's ways, when they overturn his order and disregard his peace."

Herman J. Selderhuis. John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life (p. 35). Kindle Edition.

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