John Piper fires readers' passion for the centrality and supremacy of God by unfolding Calvin's exemplary zeal for the glory of God.
God rests all too lightly on the church's mind in our time. Consequently, the self-saturation of his people has made God and his glory auxiliary, and his majesty has all but disappeared from the modern evangelical world.
John Calvin saw a similar thing in his day, and it was at the root of his quarrel with Rome. Nothing mattered more to Calvin than the centrality, supremacy, and majesty of the glory of God. His aim, he wrote, was to "set before [man], as the prime motive of his existence, zeal to illustrate the glory of God"-a fitting banner over all of the great Reformer's life and work. "The essential meaning of Calvin's life and preaching," writes John Piper, "is that he recovered and embodied a passion for the absolute reality and majesty of God. Such is the aim and burden of this book as well."
As Piper concisely unfolds this predominant theme in Calvin's life, he seeks to fire every Christian's passion for the centrality and supremacy of God, so that God's self-identification in Exodus 3 as "I am who I am" becomes the sun in our solar system too.
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.
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.
During the glory days of the French Renaissance, young John Calvin (1509-1564) experienced a profound conversion to the faith of the Reformation. For the rest of his days he lived out the implications of that transformation—as exile, inspired reformer, and ultimately the dominant figure of the Protestant Reformation. Calvin’s vision of the Christian religion has inspired many volumes of analysis, but this engaging biography examines a remarkable life. Bruce Gordon presents Calvin as a human being, a man at once brilliant, arrogant, charismatic, unforgiving, generous, and shrewd.
The book explores with particular insight Calvin’s self-conscious view of himself as prophet and apostle for his age and his struggle to tame a sense of his own superiority, perceived by others as arrogance. Gordon looks at Calvin’s character, his maturing vision of God and humanity, his personal tragedies and failures, his extensive relationships with others, and the context within which he wrote and taught. What emerges is a man who devoted himself to the Church, inspiring and transforming the lives of others, especially those who suffered persecution for their religious beliefs.
John Calvin was one of the most important leaders of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. In this revision of his major biography, T. H. L. Parker explores Calvin's achievement against the backdrop of the turbulent times in which he lived. With clear and concise explanations of Calvin's theology, analyses of his major works, and insights into his preaching, this definitive biography brings this crucially important reformer and his world to life for readers.
Historians have credited—or blamed—Calvinism for many developments in the modern world, including capitalism, modern science, secularization, democracy, individualism, and unitarianism. These same historians, however, have largely ignored John Calvin the man. When people consider him at all, they tend to view him as little more than the joyless tyrant of Geneva who created an abstract theology as forbidding as himself.
This volume, written by the eminent historian William J. Bouwsma, who has devoted his career to exploring the larger patterns of early modern European history, seeks to redress these common misconceptions of Calvin by placing him back in the proper historical context of his time.
Eloquently depicting Calvin's life as a French exile, a humanist in the tradition of Erasmus, and a man unusually sensitive to the complexities and contradictions of later Renaissance culture, Bouwsma reveals a surprisingly human, plausible, ecumenical, and often sympathetic Calvin. John Calvin offers a brilliant reassessment not only of Calvin but also of the Reformation and its relationship to the movements of the Renaissance.
John Calvin offers a brilliant reassessment not only of Calvin but also the Reformation and its relationship to the movements of the Renaissance.