What I’m Reading: John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology

John Calvin HeartMy exposure to John Calvin’s life and ministry has essentially been limited to very regular (almost weekly) use of his excellent commentaries during sermon preparation for the last 12 years. Thus, I was glad to get my hands on John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology, a new book produced in honor of Calvin’s 500th anniversary that contains articles from 20 prominent contemporary Calvinists, including Iain Murray (recent post), John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Jay Adams, and Jerry Bridges.

I’m only about a quarter of the book, but I’m enjoying it very much. The first several chapters focus on the man John Calvin, whereas the latter portion of the book addresses his doctrine (though it’s not possible to separate the two entirely). The history is fascinating and helpful, especially the portrayals of his conscientious and fervent pastoral ministry. My one complaint would be that the authors too often rehearse the same events. That’s understandable, as they wrote independently of each other, but it’s a bit frustrating compared to a typical biography that continually moves forward.

My favorite chapter thus far is “The Churchman of the Reformation” by Harry L. Reeder. His writing style is extremely engaging, and his treatment of the various aspects of Calvin’s pastoral ministry (Pastor/Leader, Pastor/Preacher, Pastor/Teacher, Pastor/Writer, Pastor/Shepherd, and Pastor/Evangelist/Missionary) is worth the price of the book. (Alas, for me it was only $5—I should have blogged about the deal!)

(Update: You can get it today for a donation of any amount to Ligonier Ministries. Details here.)

If you’re looking to learn more about this imperfect but unfairly maligned hero of the faith, give A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology a read. And if you already have, I’d love to hear your take on it.

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3 Responses

  1. […] Ministries offers John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology (which I posted on here) for a donation of any amount. Details […]

  2. […] It’s been a while! I was encouraged today by Eric J. Alexander’s discussion (in John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology) of Jesus’ threefold ministry as God’s anointed Prophet, Priest, and King—a grand […]

  3. […] on August 22, 2009 by Chris Writing in “The True Christian Life,” his chapter in John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology, Jerry Bridges echoes Calvin’s insistence that justification invariably leads to […]

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