All right knowledge of God is born of obedience.
– Calvin
This is sobering. When we disobey God, our moral and even intellectual vision is skewed and blurred. Knowledge of God (shall we say “right theology”) is not just the product of sufficient information or biblical study. Sometimes hard hearts (refusals to obey) may harden the mind, too, and make us blind. This means that God is only accessible on His terms, after we have humbled our hearts to His authority–something that feels offensive to us. Thankfully, though, our King has come, offering not just grace but also truth to those who welcome Him (John 1).
(Here’s the full quote)
“No one can get even the slightest taste of right and sound doctrine unless he be a pupil of Scripture. Hence, there also emerges the beginning of true understanding when we reverently embrace what it pleases God there to witness of himself. But not only faith, perfect and in every way complete, but all right knowledge of God is born of obedience.”
– Institutes, Bk 1 / 6:1