- Paperback: 132 pages
- Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (March 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1567697445
- ISBN-13: 978-1567697445
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.5 x 6.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Little Book on the Christian Life Paperback – March 2, 2017
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"What does it mean to take up your cross and follow Jesus Christ? How can you be heavenly minded and yet do much earthly good? Calvin addresses these practical questions and more in this excerpt from his classic, Institutes of the Christian Religion. I love this little book, and heartily endorse this judiciously translated and edited printing that makes Calvin even more accessible to the modern reader."--Dr. Joel R. Beeke
"We are living in a golden age of Christian publishing. Readers are being served with new works written here in the twenty-first century and, perhaps even more importantly, with classics from days gone by. This booklet is one of those classics, and I'm grateful to Aaron Denlinger and Burk Parsons for allowing today's Christians to rediscover it. I pray that it blesses us just as it blessed many of our forebears."--Tim Challies
"I have often thought, 'I would love to retranslate for the twenty-first century the life-shaping material in Calvin's Institutes book 3, chapters 6-10, ' and I've done nothing! But now, Burk Parsons and Aaron Denlinger have done the job for us all. We owe them a big thank you, because every Christian needs to have a working knowledge of this little book."--Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson
"The smooth and pleasant Latin Calvin wrote has found a just as smooth and pleasant translation in this wonderful little book. That sure is an accomplishment and will help many to enjoy even more the timeless message this treasure contains."--Dr. Herman Selderhuis
"Calvin's treatment of the Christian life in book 3 of his Institutes is a treasure. For more than five hundred years, Christian believers have profited from the clear way in which Calvin describes the Christian life of self-denial and cross-bearing in union with Jesus Christ. Reformation Trust Publishing's fresh translation of this Christian classic is a most welcome addition to earlier publications of Calvin's masterful description of life in conformity to Christ."--Dr. Cornelis P. Venema
About the Author
Dr. Aaron Clay Denlinger is department chair in Latin at Arma Dei Academy in Highlands Ranch, Colo., adjunct pro-
fessor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and a research fellow for the Puritan Studies Program of the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is a regular contributor to Reformation21.
Burk Parsons is copastor of Saint Andrew s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., editor of Tabletalk magazine, and vice president of publishing for Ligonier Ministries. He is author of Why Do We Have Creeds? and editor of John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology and Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God s Grace.
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I will say little about the content, because I think many have already said how great a writer Calvin is, and how great his influence on Christian faith throughout the centuries—so I will speak more of this printing and translation. The book is beautiful, from its cover, to its typeface, to the way the pages lay open...it's delightful! I don't know Latin, and have never read any other translation of this book, but I've really enjoyed this translation and appreciate the work to stick close to Calvin's original Latin, in both flow, style, and content (as they said they have).
The quality to price ratio is extremely high, then add on the significance and prestige of this writing itself—this is a must buy book!
What would become that Little Book first appeared in 1539, in the Latin second edition of Calvin’s magnum opus the Institutes of the Christian Religion. At that time it was a chapter titled De vita hominis Christiani (on the life of the Christian man). Readers quickly identified that it could stand apart from its context and be a powerful little booklet in its own right. Since then, it has been translated and published in many forms and under many names. Unfortunately, its English editions have often been truncated or of dubious quality.
That was the case until Aaron Denligner and Burk Parsons determined they would craft a new translation. “Our aim in completing this project has generally been to produce a translation that we believe Calvin himself would have been pleased with. We have, in other words, aimed at faithfulness not just to Calvin’s meaning but, so much as possible, to his words.” In doing so, they have produced a gem of a book. It maintains the strength and tone of the original content even while providing it in a new language.
A Little Book on the Christian Life is composed of just five short chapters. But each of these short chapters packs a punch. In the first, Calvin discusses Scripture’s call to Christian living, telling that “the goal of God’s work in us is to bring our lives into harmony and agreement with His own righteousness, and so to manifest to ourselves and others our identity as His adopted children.” In the second chapter, he turns to the importance of self-denial in the Christian life, showing “it is the duty of believers to present their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. And in this consists genuine worship of him.” Great progress in the Christian life is displayed when “we nearly forget ourselves, that in all matters we hold our own concerns in less esteem, and that we faithfully strive to devote our energies to God and His commands.”
The third chapter is concerned with the Christian duty of bearing the cross while the fourth turns to meditations on our future life, for “in whatever trouble comes to us, we should always set our eyes on God’s purpose to train us to think little of this present life and inspire us to think more about the future life. For God knows well that we are greatly inclined to love this world by natural instinct. Thus, He uses the best means to draw us back and shake us from our slumber, so that we don’t become entirely stuck in the mire of our love for this world.” The final chapter is the shortest and tells how the present life and its comforts should be used. “If [God’s people] are merely passing through this land, then without doubt they should make use of its goods only insofar as they aid rather than hinder their journey.”
Though short in length, this little booklet is full of wisdom for guiding the Christian’s journey. It’s a book that will benefit any and every Christian. It is short enough to read quickly and full enough to re-read often.
I’m convinced we are living in a golden age of publishing. Readers are being served with new works written here in the twenty-first century and, perhaps even more importantly, with classics from days gone by. This little book is deservedly one of those classics and I’m grateful to Denligner and Parsons for allowing today’s Christians to rediscover it. I pray that it blesses us just as it blessed many of our forebears. I am confident it will.