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Publication Date: 2009
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An introduction to the essential life and thought of one of history's most influential theologians, who considered himself first and foremost a pilgrim and a pastor.
July 10, 2009, marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. As controversial as he was influential, his critics have named a judgmental and joyless attitude after him, while his admirers celebrate him as the principal theologian of Reformed Christianity. Yet his impact is unmistakable-a primary developer of western civilization whose life and work have deeply affected five centuries' worth of pastors, scholars, and individuals.
What will surprise the readers of this book, however, is that Calvin did not live primarily to influence future generations. Rather, he considered himself first and foremost a spiritual pilgrim and a minister of the Word in the church of his day. It was from that "essential" Calvin that all his influence flowed.
Here is an introduction to Calvin's life and thought and essence: a man who moved people not through the power of personality but through passion for the Word, a man who sought to serve the gospel in the most humble of roles.
Pastor DanWichita, KSAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Great Biography of one of the best known ReformersApril 26, 2011Pastor DanWichita, KSAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Robert Godfrey gives us a delightful short biography of the life of John Calvin one of the most renowned Reformer in the 16th Century. Calvin spent his life studying, writing and preaching the word of the God. As part of that influence he also was involved in the local politics of the community as during that time the church and state were fairly closely tied.
One example pointed out in the text of this tie is the fact that Calvin believed that The Lord's Supper should be celebrated once a week during the normal worship time for the church. But the local city government declared that communion would only be held once a quarter, so that is what happened (this was a concession as it had been once a year). While we today would frown upon the state having control over when we administer communion it was not as harsh an edict during Calvin's life. The church and state often worked together.
Calvin was not a fan of the Catholic Church, he was a Reformer. He was driven out of France and went to live in Geneva. He was also run out of Geneva and went to Germany. But soon was inticed to come back to Geneva as the city fathers realized they made a mistake and they needed the intellect and piety of John Calvin to restore order to the church, and to defend the church against those whom took exception to their teachings.
As such Calvin at times would come under attack by critics. Some of those Critics were actually arrested, tried and put to death because of the heresy that they were teaching. Times were certainly different during Calvin's life than what we experience today.
Calvin found time to write commentaries on each book of the Bible as well as write a multi volume set on the Doctrines of the Church. He also preached, taught at the local Bible School and wrote hundreds of letters to correct both critics and other pastors who were in error.
This short book contains chapters regarding Calvins thoughts on;
1. The Church and Worship
2. The Church and the Sacraments
3. The Church and Predestination
4. The Church, the City, and the Schools
5. Calvin and the Institutes (his written work on Theology)
If you have never read anything on John Calvin this would be a wonderful place to start. After reading this you might consider picking up one of the books that contains his letters to others, or some of his sermons. Also you can find reprints of individual volumes of his commentaries or the whole set.
This book was written to commemorate the 500th birthday of John Calvin. I trust you will enjoy it as much as I did.