- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Desiring God (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979952670
- ISBN-13: 978-0979952678
- Package Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Portrait of Calvin Paperback – 2009
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Portrait of Calvin [paperback] T.H.L. Parker,John Piper [Jan 01, 2009] … 0979952670 02/03/2018 17:04:08
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Composed in 1954, this re-release by Desiring God ministries (John Piper) has as its purpose to re-introduce us to the man known to the church as Calvin (aka John Calvin). This is a short book, highlighting the major facts surrounding Calvin's life; it gives the reader a vivid picture of what Calvin surely must have been like. Parker uses his "brushes" and "color palate" skillfully. Good writers write well. While the bare facts are presented, they are presented with artistic flair.
John Piper sees the purpose of this book: "I am eager for people to know Calvin not because he was without flaws, or because he was the most influential theologian of the last 500 years (which he was), or because he shaped Western culture (which he did), but because he took the Bible so seriously, and because what he saw on every page was the majesty of God and the glory of Christ."
Parker arranges the chapters in chronological succession. As with most biographies, this one follows Calvin's life from his early years to his final ones. The genius of this book is that Parker is able to create in the reader's mind a Calvin who is personal. It is firmly based in factual historical data, but Parker writes in such a way so as to make the portrait come alive. We see Calvin's strengths and we see his weaknesses. We see him writing great theological treatises, but we also see him loving his wife and children. He dealt with conflicts and crying children. He dealt with poor health and insomnia. He pushed himself to the limits of what most humans could ever hope to accomplish. The volume and quality of his writing boggles the mind.
I think most readers will appreciate the brevity of this book. Additionally, Parker, being the skilled writer that he is, leaves the reader satisfied that they have had a face to face encounter with Calvin. It feel that way anyway. His writing is nuanced and colorful. The book is certainly aptly titled "Portrait of Calvin". Do yourself a favor and read this book. Not only will you understand the Protestant Reformation better, but you will gain appreciation for one of the greatest theologians of the Protestant Church. You will get to meet this great man, who, while he was great, was also humble. His faith was in his God and this book can help us (I believe) to trust in God on a much deeper level.
Portrait of Calvin is informative and interesting and does not require a degree in theology to understand. Parker provides both a historical and theological window into the life of John Calvin, peeling back the veil on this Christ-driven man of God who has shaped our theology perhaps more than any other man in the last millennium. Portrait of Calvin will serve as a good introduction for those who are new to Calvin, or as a happy refresher to the Calvin enthusiast.
This book is not available at Amazon, I got it at [...]