Calvinist missionaries. If you think that sounds like an oxymoron, you’re not alone. Yet a close look at John Calvin’s life, writings, and successors reveals a passion for the spread of the gospel and the salvation of sinners.
From training pastors at his Genevan Academy to sending missionaries to the jungles of Brazil, Calvin consistently sought to encourage and equip Christians to take the good news of salvation to the very ends of the earth. In this carefully researched book, Michael Haykin and Jeffrey Robinson clear away longstanding stereotypes related to the Reformed tradition and Calvin’s theological heirs, highlighting the Reformer’s neglected missional vision and legacy.
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This book traces the story of evangelical Calvinism through several important episodes in the history of Reformed Protestantism. Long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Christians, informed by Calvin’s missional theology, were planting churches and preaching the gospel in the country we now know as Brazil. This story has long been forgotten, suppressed, and even distorted by those who should have known better. I welcome this well-researched book, which sets the record straight.
—Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
Does a belief in sovereign grace stymie missions and evangelism? If that belief is rightly understood and rightly applied, the answer is an emphatic no. Haykin and Robinson skillfully present John Calvin’s evangelistic zeal and channel it toward a new generation of Great Commission minded pastors, teachers, and evangelists. I’m grateful for these men and this book, and pray that God will use it for the greater advance of the gospel and a greater harvest of souls.
—Jason K. Allen, president, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College
This book sets the record straight once and for all—John Calvin was a man consumed with the global proclamation of the gospel, the salvation of souls, and the discipleship of all nations. With historical integrity and pastoral insight, Haykin and Robinson demonstrate the beautiful harmony that exists between Calvinistic theology and a robust biblical missiology. Here is a call for the church to share in that same passionate pursuit.
—Burk Parsons, Copastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; Editor, Tabletalk magazine
Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books, including Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church.
C. Jeffrey Robinson Sr. (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a senior editor for the Gospel Coalition and serves as the lead pastor for Christ Community Church of Louisville. He also serves as adjunct professor of church history at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the coauthor of To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin's Mission, Vision, and Legacy.