Automotive Deals BOTYSFKT Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Songs of Summer Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis STEM Water Sports

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on December 18, 2000
This concise one-volume version of Calvin's "Institutes" is an indispensible reference that should be on the shelves of every student of theology or recent history. The translation is superlative and is as unambiguous in its gramatical choice as possible. This particular volume is excellent because it brings the "Institutes" into one compact volume.
I see only two problems with this version: a 2,000 page paperback book is going to have its binding creased eventually. It would have been nice to see a hardcover version of this. Secondly, this volume lacks a concise index and concordance. If you purchase this volume, I would recommend also purchasing a concordance to the "Institutes."
Overall an excellent version of a wonderful theological document.
0Comment| 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 25, 2008
I'll let others weigh in on the (sometimes) controversial content of The Institutes, but this review is more about the quality of the book itself.

I am very impressed with the quality of the cover, spine, typeface, and size of this book, especially for the price. This book is almost textbook quality.

My only gripes are with the paper used for the pages and with the translation. The paper is fair quality, and seems to take a highlighter well without bleeding, but I still wish the pages were more textbook-y to match the quality of the cover and spine. The translation is a mid-19th century translation that has been hailed as accurate, but is now a bit stiff and stilted. I fully understand the price would be at least 3x if a translation was used that is not in the public domain, but it is still a negative.

This price vs quality cannot be beat for the full version of the Institutes. The quality of the paper is the only reason I went 4 stars instead of 5. This is a good buy!
0Comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 15, 2013
This e-book is well organized and presents the material well. The Institutes is a classic piece of theology that I cannot really give a review of. It contains Calvin's position on many doctrines of the Christian religion. Having been written by a reformer, much of the book is argument against the opponents to his theology and the Catholic Church. I don't really know the history or context of these opponents and Calvin seems to assume his readers are already familiar. This made it a bit difficult for me.
Overall, this was a very good read for me, being newer to the reformed theology from evangelicalism and this helped me frame my mode of thinking on many different topics.
By the way, librivox has the full audiobook for free this helped me to listen to longer sections that were less interesting to me then read it on kindle when something popped out as interesting.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2009
The following comments pertain to Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Volume, hard cover version) edited by J. McNeill and translated by F. Battles. The Institutes are Calvin's Magnum Opus, a text that he revised and expanded significantly from its initial publication in 1536 to, this, its final version released in 1559. The Institutes is a true classic, widely recognized as the seminal work in Reformed/Protestant systematic theology - essential reading for Christians in the Reformed tradition and all serious students of theology.

I confess at the outset, that although I have been familiar with Calvin and Calvinism for some time, this was my first dedicated reading of the Institutes (1500+ pages). Approaching the text in a detailed and diligent manner challenged some of my preconceptions regarding Calvin and increased my appreciation for the man and his work. Calvin is a powerful thinker and a capable writer who handles biblical, extra-biblical and classical sources with ease and insight. Though the Institutes has much strength, Calvin's handling of issues such as: providence, accommodation (i.e. God conveys truth in a manner suitable to limited human reason), and the noetic, or intellectual, effects of sin are especially worthwhile. I read this text in conjunction with Prof. David Calhoun's Covenant Theological Seminary course on the Institutes. Calhoun's course lectures are available on-line at no cost thru I tunes U under Covenant Theological Seminary.

Throughout the Institutes Calvin makes many important observations - often chastising his predecessors and contemporaries for be overly speculative. These criticisms were probably a valuable corrective to ecclesiastical abuses and worship practices that had developed in medieval Church. And, while I agree with Calvin on many points, some of his interpretations are themselves speculative and subject to similar criticism. His assertions with regard to election and depravity are classic examples - while many Calvinists would likely disagree - the majority of Christians view his claims in these areas as unbiblical, and, if not heretical, at least overstated. Such interpretive issues have been a perennial challenge for Protestantism. That is, divorced from the interpretative tradition of the Church why should the opinion of one man, writing 1500 years after the fact, hold any particular sway? How can it override and revise the cumulative interpretative history and teaching of the Church established by Christ? Difficult questions, once tradition is removed there is no acknowledged public authority for resolving interpretative issues. One can just invoke the "It seems to me ..." clause and effectively become a church onto themselves.

Regardless, of the ultimate truth, or falsity, of Calvin's teaching, his discussion of issues such as justification, salvation, freedom and predestination have played an important role in shaping subsequent Christian thought. I highly recommended the Institutes for students of Christian history and theology.
11 comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2016
Institutes of the Christian Religion is a tome. I first read this when I was a teenager and now at nearly forty wanted to familiarize myself with it again. I've recently discovered that while his beliefs may be good his practice of them was lousy and led to a theocratic city in Switzerland. While it only lasted until Calvin died theocracy is never a good thing.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 29, 2015
The picture and description leads one to believe that it was a new edition. The books I got were from the 1950's.
I won't read them much but they look cool on the shelf.
Would have been more helpful for class if I had a current edition.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 21, 2013
The typeface is easy to read. An attractive hard bound book. Calvin's material is dense, but powerful. Calvin has no peer in terms of reform theology. A must read for any biblical scholar. Rec'd shipment on time, and it was packed well. Thanks Amazon!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 24, 2015
Calvin was a thorough and methodological expositor of the scriptures and a great theologian. I have a problem with the kindle edition, however. Kindle treats the entirety of book 4 as a single chapter. If someone can can either modify the source file or comment, telling me how to mod it for my own download, I will update this review to the five stars the text itself deserves.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 18, 2016
The number of times I have been to a church service in my life can be comfortably counted on one hand, but as one gets older and engages with a longer historical tradition (and churched people who, strangely enough, act like their religion is a matter of life and death) simple "rationalism" no longer cuts it: if you are a non-bigoted, non-deluded non-Christian you will learn a great deal from Calvin's *Institutes of the Christian Religion*. This is *the* work of systematic early Protestant theology, since Luther produced no "general" theological work; furthermore, people who are put off by Aquinas' propeller-head attitude to blending Aristotle and the Bible in the *Summa theologiae* will find it refreshingly forthright. The Beveridge translation is from a time where theologians took this stuff seriously and will be comprehensible to those able to read 19th-century English prose (which is not everybody, it must be said).

The *Institutes* contain four long "Books" dealing with the nature of God, the role of Jesus, salvation, and the nature of the Church (Calvin still calls it the "catholic Church", not yet reconciled to the schism between the reformers and "Papists"). Those of us who were a bit perplexed by the concept of "predestination" -- it hardly matters what we do as we are saved or not according to God's will anyway? -- will find it to be something like a "principle of sufficient reason" for godly behavior; following the revelation of Christ's divinity, and abstracting away from the hypocrites anyone will find anywhere, people who are changed by the message of Christianity are saved: there is nobody who is genuinely convinced they are Christian and faithfully following the precepts of the religion who will be "left behind".

Unlike the Scholastics, you will find nary a reference in Calvin to traditional "pagan" Greek philosophy, but there is a great deal of citation of Augustine and other early church fathers to justify Protestant "innovation" as a sort of going back to the future. As is generally true of classic Christian literature, there is a great deal of wisdom in the discussion of human life and its problems; whether Richard Dawkins likes it or not, science will not have all the answers and these particular answers would bulk large for lots of people under any government. (As regards Christianity and worldly government, though Calvin was a "citizen of Geneva" like Jean-Jacques Rousseau he dedicated the *Institutes* to the Catholic French king and most emphatically follows the "render unto Caesar" attitude of Luther and not that of Thomas Müntzer.)

If you are a "freethinker", you are therefore free to recognize this is not simply foolishness, and lacking a knowledge of Christian doctrine (as many of us now grow up doing) leaves one unable to say much about most of Western Civilization other than "It has a good beat and you can dance to it". Recommended for serious people.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 4, 2013
While the content is as it should be, there are a few formatting oddities which make certain parts difficult to read. Overall an excellent value, and far more convenient than the hard copy versions.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.