I had absolutely no idea what to write about for this week’s Daily Cup – and you may read through this and surmise that I still have no idea what I’m writing about – but I noticed on the liturgical calendar that today is a commemoration of 16th century theologian John Calvin, and that got me started. There’s not a lot about John Calvin that resonates with me, so I Googled “Calvin” to get some ideas, and did I get an idea. Up popped my favorite Calvin of all:
I had forgotten that this Calvin of “Calvin and Hobbes” fame was actually named for the French Protestant eponymous creator of Calvinism. How does a six year old bratty misanthrope relate to the proponent of predestination? John Calvin was, after all (and I quote from Wikipedia): the principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrine of predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation. Yikes.
Wikipedia comes to the rescue again, however: Calvin occasionally addresses John Calvin’s belief in predestination. Being a short-sighted child who dodges work, Calvin considers predestination as a favorable release from his responsibilities, whereas Hobbes sees it as a threat to individual freedom.
Before moving into the darker territory of Breaking Bad and David Foster Wallace, my son could call up a “Calvin and Hobbes” quote for any occasion. There was wisdom to be found on every conceivable topic in those comic strips by Bill Watterson. I should have known when I was feeling a bad case of writer’s block earlier this week that Calvin would have something to say about that too.
Is 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes on our liturgical calendar as well?