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Appropriate Gratitude for John Calvin

calvin cakeI’m grateful for the ministry of John Calvin, who was born 500 years ago today. I’ve especially benefitted from his excellent commentaries for the last decade, not to mention the “trickle down” of his teaching that I’ve gained from teachers and writers dead and living. (I’m especially appreciative of Michael Barrett, whose influence on me toward a Reformed soteriology was first and strongest.) But I’ve also been cringing a bit, fearing that the inevitable fanfare that will accompany this day might be ostentatious and, frankly, embarrassing. Happily—unless you’re a Calvin hater who would do well to consider this comically true advice—the words of gratitude to God for Calvin that I’ve seen have been appropriately simple. Here are some links to my favorite posts and resources, though I’m sure I’m missing many:

  • Dissidens sings “Happy Birthday, dear Calvin” in this brief post. Well done.
  • Theosource offers a brief look at Calvin’s devotional life, humility, and Christ-centeredness here.
  • Ben suggests singing a hymn and praying for the spread of the gospel, which is a great idea. [You might overlook his snarky comment at the end of this otherwise fine post. Give it a rest, pal. It’s a happy day. :) ]
  • John Piper’s biographical lecture on Calvin can be heard or read here.
  • Joe Tyrpak’s biographical lecture on Calvin (given at TCBC around last Reformation Day) can be heard here.
  • Ligonier Ministries offers John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology (which I posted on here) for a donation of any amount. Details here.
  • Desiring God offers T. H. L. Parker’s brief biography for just $2, today only.

Lastly, while it’s good to give honor to those whom it is due, the best way to thank the Lord for Calvin’s influence during a critical time in church history and ever since is to focus on the God whom he loved and served. Soli Deo Gloria!


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