I know it will reveal me to be somewhat nostalgically stuck in the 70’s and 80’s. But I always thought Paul Simon was one of the best non-Calvinist Calvinists when he sang with a hint of defeat in his voice, “God only knows, when God makes His plan; the information’s not available to the mortal man. We work our jobs, collect our pay, believe we’re gliding down the highway when, in fact, we’re slipping sliding away.”
And now I wonder if Springsteen might join him when he petitions, “God have mercy on the man who doubts what he is sure of.”
“Unbelief is, in all men, always mixed with faith” (547).
“For unbelief is so deeply rooted in our hearts, and we are so inclined to it, that not without hard struggle is each one able to persuade himself of what all confess with the mouth: namely, that God is faithful. Especially when it comes to reality itself, every man’s wavering uncovers hidden weakness” (560).
“Surely, while we teach that faith ought to be certain and assured, we cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety. On the other hand, we say that believers are in perpetual conflict with their own unbelief. Far, indeed, are we from putting their consciences in any peaceful repose, undisturbed by any tumult at all. Yet, once again, we deny that, in whatever way they are afflicted, they fall away and depart from the certain assurance received from God’s mercy” (562).
“The greatest doubt and trepidation must be mixed up with such wrappings of ignorance, since our heart especially inclines by its own natural instinct toward unbelief. Besides this, there are innumerable and varied temptations that constantly assail us with great violence. But it is especially our conscience itself that, weighed down by a mass of sins, now complains and groans, now accuses itself, now murmurs secretly, now breaks out in open tumult. And so, whether adversities reveal God’s wrath, or the conscience finds in itself the proof and ground thereof, thence unbelief obtains weapons and devices to overthrow faith” (566).