In celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of John Calvin’s birth (2009), Burk Parsons, editor of Tabletalk magazine and associate minister at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Fla., has brought together an impressive group of pastors and scholars to reconsider Calvin’s life and legacy. Contributors include Jay Adams, Eric Alexander Thabiti Anyabwile, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, D. G. Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith Mathison, Richard Phillips, Harry Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek Thomas, Thomas Ascol, and others.
In twenty succinct chapters, these men examine Calvin the man; his work (as a Reformer, a churchman, a preacher, a counselor, and a writer); and his teachings (on subjects as diverse as the Holy Spirit and prayer). What emerges is a multifaceted portrait of a man whose contributions to Christian thought and Christian living were significant indeed, a man whose life, work, and teachings are worthy to be remembered and studied even in the twenty-first century.
If you have neglected Calvin’s writings for fear they are too difficult or too dreary, this book will change your mind. It is a compendium of his thought presented, as we might expect from these writers, clearly, engagingly, and with a devotional warmth that encourages us to know the God whom we worship.
—Alistair Begg, Senior pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
I personally have benefited in the reading of this work, and most heartily commend it. The value of this book is that it brings out something of John Calvin’s own life and struggles, and then summarizes his doctrinal position, not just as an academic exercise, but in the true spirit of genuine Calvinism, which points men to Christ and justification by faith, producing godliness of life and true communion with God.
—Dr. Morton H. Smith, Professor of systematic and biblical theology, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Greenville, South Carolina
On the five-hundredth anniversary of John Calvin’s birth, it is utterly fitting that a book of essays should appear that is designed for ordinary Christians, not scholars. The scholars will have their conferences, of course, and rightly so, but here is a collection of essays that will inform and move ordinary readers to grasp something of the profound gift God gave to the church in the person and ministry—and especially the writings—of Calvin. Read this book, then find yourself drawn toward many profitable and stretching hours reading Calvin’s Institutes and some of his many commentaries.
—D. A. Carson, Research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois
To my knowledge, there never has been a collection of authors of any edited volume under whose ministry I would rather sit than these. What stands out is that they are humble, holy men of God. Most of them are too old—too seasoned—to care about scoring points. Their lives witness to the preciousness of Christ and the importance of purity. Expect no bombast. Expect humble, measured admiration and wise application. This is a good way to meet John Calvin: in the holy hearts of humble servants of Christ. The only better way would be to read the man himself.
—John Piper, Pastor for preaching and vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Burk Parsons serves as editor of Tabletalk and associate pastor of Saint Andrew’s in Sanford, Fla., and he is editor of the books Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace and this book, John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology.
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