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John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, Doxology Hardcover – November 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (November 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567691064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567691061
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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: Researchy professor of New Testament Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield, Illinois

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 who we worship. --Alistair Begg: Senior Pastor, Parkside Church Chagrin Falls, Ohio

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. --Dr. John Piper of Desiring God Ministries

About the Author

Author list: Jay E. Adams, Eric J. Alexander, Thabiti Anyabwile, Thomas K Ascol, Joel R. Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair B. Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, D.G. Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven J. Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith A. Mathison, Burk Parsons, Richard D. Phillips, Harry L. Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W.H. Thomas.

Editor bio: Rev. Burk Parsons serves as minister of congregational life at Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and is the editor of Tabletalk, the monthly Bible-study magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He holds a degree in biblical studies from Trinity College and the M.Di. from Reformed Theological Seminary. Rev. Parsons is also editor of the book Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God's Grace.

More About the Author

I love the Lord because He first loved me. I love His people because He has given me a new heart. I have received God's favor in the form of my wife, Kristie. And together we know His blessing through three children. I was once a Muslim, and by God's grace I have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. By God's unfathomable grace I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which I hope to serve Him until He returns or calls me home!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It was a satisfying read and I recommend it to you.
Rebecca Stark
Great book on the history of Calvin himself giving you great insight into his struggles of life and devotion to God and giving people the gospel.
TheIndyWilsons
This book covers Calvin's life well but it also has generous quotes from his writings.
rbmarx

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on January 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are so many caricatures of Calvinism (and Arminianism) found on the web that it can be difficult to know exactly what Calvinism really is. What better way to do that than to read about John Calvin as written by contemporary historians, authors, preachers and theologians?

"...the amount of misrepresentation to which Calvin's theology has been subjected has been enough to prove his doctrine of total depravity several times over!"
-J.I. Packer, The Collected Shorter Writings of J. I. Packer

There are so many quotable quotes in this book it's difficult to choose which ones to include in this review to whet the appetite of anyone who might be interested in reading the book.

Iain H. Murray writes this in the Foreward:

"Sometimes the impression can be given to other Christians that we regard `Calvinism' as co-terminus with Christianity and that we think all gospel preaching can be fitted into the five points. The five points are not to be depreciated, but God is incomprehensibly greater than our understanding, and there are other truths to be preached far beyond our capacity to harmonize.

Calvin cautions us here. In speaking of the indiscriminate invitations of Christ in John 5, he observes, `He is ready to give himself, provided that they are only willing to believe.' He can say that `nothing of all that God wishes to be saved shall perish' and yet warn his hearers lest the opportunity of salvation `pass away from us.' He speaks of Christ's `great kindness' to Judas and affirms, `Christ does not lay Judas under the necessity of perishing.' If on occasions, when in controversy with opponents of Scripture, Calvin unduly presses the implications of a doctrine, he guards against that temptation in his general preaching and teaching.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Grant Marshall on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever wanted to read those authors of old? The ones who wrote with incredibly good grammar, a few words you'd never heard before? Well I have and I've put it off for a long time. That is until I picked up a few cheap re-prints on a recent trip to Wellington . Its funny how cheap they are. I bet it cost more to print them than they made selling them. The old writers had a way to engage their readers, drawing them into a world of three dimensional characters. They were master wordsmiths. But times change and so do peoples tastes. Thats why we always need a new generation of writers to make sense of the past and contextualise it for today.

This is critical for those who want to read Calvin. He is often depicted as a cold, stoic and heartless man. That's partly due to the system of theology that bears his name , and more correctly by those who follow his system of theology. But after this book, hopefully your opinions will change. If you've read my new years resolutions you'll know I'm tired of defending the five points of Calvinism, and that is exactly why I enjoyed this book. The preface by Iain Murray blew me away. He's worth quoting at length:

We believe that divine revelation has come to us in words and in propositions, and for these we must contend. But truth is only rightly believed to the extent that it is embodied in life. (page xiv)

Too often, in our time, beliefs associated with the name Calvin, have been identified with the lecture hall and the academy. We have found it easier to be "teachers" and "defenders" of the truth than to be evangelists who are willing to die that men might be converted. We regard "Calvinism" as co-terminus with Christianity and think that all gospel preaching can be fitted into the five points.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By kevin on April 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you are like me and you listen to a lot of different people and you here a lot of different stories, you know how varied a view on historical people such as Calvin you can get. While it is natural for people to have different perspectives and opinions on people, these are often formed with little information and facts. The stories are filtered through the personalities of storytellers and often may be distorted because of personal opinions. That being said facts are facts and they stand the test of time. What i appreciated about this book was that presentation. The facts of John Calvins life have effected many in todays society without our knowing it. I especially enjoyed and found encouraging the story of his life in the many different facets. In today's society I can get very discouraged and look at many of the things he went through and see a comparison to todays assault and need for Reformation. Today doesn't compare to what he went through and had to deal with but the need for John Calvins is certainly needed just as bad. While looking at his life we can get encouragement and see that with the life of one man, God can do much. Every act of obedience prevents an act of Disobedience. I encourage any and all that desire to learn of Calvin to pick up this book and have the facts for yourself so that one more person has the facts for them self and can know the man as best they could.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Stark on July 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology examines Calvin's life, ministry, and teachings in nineteen chapters, each written by a different well-known pastor, teacher, or theologian. Besides Burk Parsons' preface and first chapter and Iain Murray's foreward, there are chapters written by Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Joel Beeke, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, Phil Johnson, and many more notable Reformedish Christian leaders.

The first eight chapters are primarily about Calvin the man. There is a chapter which contains a brief biographical sketch and chapters on the various mantles Calvin wore in his service to God: Reformer, churchman, preacher, counselor, and writer. Taken together, the picture we see is of a man of many gifts, all used in service to God.

The seventh chapter,"The Counselor to the Afflicted" by W. Robert Godfrey, includes excerpts from Calvin's extensive pastoral correspondence which show his tenderhearted care for people who were suffering. To a father who had lost his son, he wrote:

"When I first received the intelligence of the death ... of your son Louis, I was so utterly overpowered that for many days I was fit for nothing but to grieve; and albeit I was somehow upheld before the Lord by those aids wherewith he sustains our souls in affliction among men, however, I was almost a nonentity."

Not exactly the stone-cold ivory-towered theologian of the common Calvin caricature, is he?

The rest of the chapters--ten of them--are essays on the teaching of Calvin on doctrines that he emphasized, starting with one on the supremacy of Jesus Christ and another on the work of the Spirit.
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