John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life  -     By: Herman J. Selderhuis
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John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life

IVP Academic / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

If you're not familiar with the main contours of Calvin's life, you may be surprised by Herman Selderhuis's unusual perspective. He clarifies each stage of Calvin's development under a different role: orphan, pilgrim, stranger, refugee, preacher, victim, widower, patient, sailor, and soldier. Selderhuis shatters static, one-dimensional images of Calvin as a somber academic, revealing instead Calvin's complexities and depth.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830829210
ISBN-13: 9780830829217
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

There are many biographies of John Calvin, the theologian--some villifying him and others extolling his virtues--but few that reveal John Calvin, the man. Professor and renowned Reformation historian Herman Selderhuis has written this book to bring Calvin near to the reader, showing him as a man who had an impressive impact on the development of the Western world, but who was first of all a believer struggling with God and with the way God governed both the world and his own life. Selderhuis draws on Calvin's own publications and commentary on the biblical figures with whom he strongly identified to describe his theology in the context of his personal development. Throughout we see a person who found himself alone at many of the decisive moments of his life--a fact that echoed through Calvin's subsequent sermons and commentaries. Selderhuis's unique and compelling look at John Calvin, with all of his merits and foibles, ultimately discloses a man who could not find himself at home in the world in which he lived.

Author Bio

Herman J. Selderhuis is professor for church history and church polity at the Theological University Apeldoorn (Netherlands) and director of the university's Institute for Reformation Research. He is a leading Reformation historian and author of several books, including

Author Bio

Herman J. Selderhuis is professor for church history and church polity at the Theological University Apeldoorn (Netherlands) and director of the university's Institute for Reformation Research. He is a leading Reformation historian and author of several books, including Calvin's Theology of the Psalms.

Publisher Description

There are many biographies of John Calvin, the theologian--some villifying him and others extolling his virtues--but few that reveal John Calvin, the man.

Professor and renowned Reformation historian Herman Selderhuis has written this book to bring Calvin near to the reader, showing him as a man who had an impressive impact on the development of the Western world, but who was first of all a believer struggling with God and with the way God governed both the world and his own life.

Selderhuis draws on Calvin's own publications and commentary on the biblical figures with whom he strongly identified to describe his theology in the context of his personal development. Throughout we see a person who found himself alone at many of the decisive moments of his life--a fact that echoed through Calvin's subsequent sermons and commentaries. Selderhuis's unique and compelling look at John Calvin, with all of his merits and foibles, ultimately discloses a man who could not find himself at home in the world in which he lived.

Editorial Reviews

"Five hundred years after the birth of John Calvin, the reformer of Geneva continues to loom large as one of the most formative figures in Christian history, and one of the most difficult to know up close and personal. Herman Selderhuis presents here a fresh new biography based on a careful reading of Calvin's letters and other sources. Calvin emerges as neither hero nor villain, but rather as a flawed and forgiven pilgrim who never lost sight of his final destination and inspired many others along the way. A wonderful introduction to a great teacher of the church!"
"One would think that with all the biographies of John Calvin through the centuries there would be nothing new to say. Think again! Veteran Calvin scholar Herman Selderhuis has followed Calvin himself in going 'back to the sources' and provides a portrait of Calvin drawn exclusively from Calvin's own writings. The result is a fresh and invigorating look at the human person behind all the caricatures, the faithful servant of Christ who saw his life as being lived in the providence of God--a God whose ways he often did not understand. Find here a fully human Calvin whose commitment to the 'pilgrim life' instructs and inspires us still today."
"This is simply one of the best biographies of Calvin I have seen. Selderhuis has managed admirably to combine keen academic insight with a clear, engaging writing style and many delicious details. For all who are curious about Calvin, Selderhuis's John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life is the place to begin."
"A delightful new biography of Calvin by one of Europe's leading Reformation scholars. Selderhuis does not simply rehash the events of Calvin's life; he weaves those events into a story of a man on a geographical, theological and spiritual pilgrimage--or more precisely, a story of a man on a pilgrimage."

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  1. Frederick Kuhl
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 29, 2009
    Frederick Kuhl

    I'm writing a second review because, having now finished the book, I think I was unjust to it earlier. The book does seem almost flippant at first, but Selderhuis's understanding of and admiration for Calvin become clearer as the book progresses. His portrait of Calvin is lively, balanced and illuminating.

  2. Frederick Kuhl
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    May 26, 2009
    Frederick Kuhl

    Its great strength is its historical and personal detail. In that it's unique. But it won't help you understand Calvin theologically, as does THL Parker's biography. And it verges at times on flippancy. Still, very much worth reading, along with Parker.

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