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Institutes of the Christian Religion: By John Calvin Unknown Binding – 1909

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Presbyterian Board of Publication; Memorial ed. with an introduction on the literary history of the institutes by Benjamin B. Warfield edition (1909)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00085TECW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Briefly today, I can only say that Calvins Institutes are as easy to read as anything one reads. I think his sermons in print are easier to read than the commentaries (maybe because the nature of a sermon and expository writing can be different? Not sure.)
Sinclair Ferguson, the Scots preacher, said once that as a young believer in Christ
he read the Institutes when 15 years old and loved it. I think because of the times now, that many have to have most they read in quick and sometimes too simple reading...the sound bites as one sees on TV all the time in news, good example? Everything has to be explained in a short and hurried way, so reading or hearing something that is going to take some time and thought is often put aside.
I recall giving a dear friend the easy to read but full and wonderful work by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount," and the response was, to me, "Wally, it is the sermon on the mount!" She meant that the book of maybe 350 pg (I am guessing here) was unnecessary, too much to read, which I thought amazing for I read it twice and there is not one word too book so far I ever read excepting the bible. Calvin, anything by him, or read his Sermons on Ephesians first, my favorite by him, a book that will melt your heart, truly...then tackle the Institutes as it may be a more scholarly writing for sure..surely not difficult to take on if Mr. Ferguson and others rave how it is not.
I need to read the Institutes again myself. It starts out on the existence of God, tells of man in innocence, his sin that was passed on to all creation, and so much more as Calvin takes us to the good news of the Son of God coming to redeem his fallen short, some would say all the solid and accurate systematic theology you will really need to understand the main truth of the bible.
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17 of 105 people found the following review helpful By penname on June 1, 2005
Format: Unbound
I agree with Mr. Oshell on almost every point. I find John Calvin, in this writing, and in many others, confused about what he really believes. He speaks of 'justification', 'sanctification', regeneration', 'grace', even 'faith', but cannot seem to come to an agreement with himself as to what these important terms mean. After reading a good amount of the Institutes, I think John Calvin thought they all meant the same thing. But of course, according to Calvinism, knowing about these things was ever meant for most of the world anyway, and knowledge of them doesn't make any difference to anyone's eternal destiny, so really, what does it matter who does or doesn't understand these terms? The reader might find his eyes spinning in his head after a short while. Much philosophy indeed....

John Calvin, like Calvinist writers in general, must of necessity give opposite meanings to the words of the living God in Scripture in order to teach what it is they believe, "Calvinism". But I think any true 'believer' should be horrified by Calvin's notion that salvation and damnation of individuals are utterly left to chance, a decision already made by God for each of us before the foundation of the world, and most importantly, arbitrary in regard to "faith". God merely made the decision without any regard to His foreknowledge of a person's faith or lack of faith in Christ. Unbelievable. But this teaching comes from Calvin's belief that there IS no condition for salvation, that faith in Christ is not necessary for those 'elected' by God to salvation in eternity past. God, they say, simply "gives the gift of faith" to the ones He has already elected to salvation (making them meet the apparent condition for salvation (faith) in John 3:16-18).
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