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Is Yahweh a God of War or Peace?

It’s easy to become confused while reading the prophets’ depictions of God. Malachi, for instance, warns that God is a powerful warrior who will consume all evildoers in the fire of his judgment (Mal 4:1). In contrast, Isaiah anticipates God’s...

We are much worse than we think

I recently posted a somewhat funny post calling Andy Stanley a Calvinist. The quote I mentioned there got me thinking about the larger context in which Calvin used it. I’ve always been struck by this section in Institutes. Calvin has such an...

Calvin’s Aim in Writing Institutes

In the prefix to the 1545 French edition of Calvin’s Institutes, Calvin seeks to explain to his readers why he wrote Institutes to begin with. While he goes into more detail, the third paragraph has some amazingly interesting nuggets of...

The Cause is Worthy

In his prefatory address to his last edition of Institutes, Calvin pens a letter to the King of France. While this prefatory letter contains many great statements, one line in particular stood out to me as I read: Your duty, most serene Prince, is...

Changing the 5 Points of Calvinism

Despite the popular misconception, John Calvin never wrote the five points of Calvinism, also know as TULIP. These however were five points that were drawn up some time after his death in an effort to summarize the key doctrines for which Calvin and...

Calvin’s Thoughts on Seminary

John Calvin’s aim of the Genevan Academey is inspiring and should most certainly be applied, or should I say adopted, by more seminaries today: The creation of the Academy was perhaps Calvin’s crowning achievement. However, it needs to be...

Preaching to the Very End

The thought of “retirement” in the traditional sense doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. There is a part of me that hopes I can continue preaching and ministry to the very end. I was encouraged to read of Calvin’s passion to...

Loving Your Enemies

Even though Geneva banished Calvin, Calvin still held the city close in his heart. His care for its people, for the truth of the Gospel, ran so deep that he even fought for its faith while in exile. “Not long after this unjust banishment, Calvin...

Preaching Without Notes

Whenever I preach, I typically create an outline and then work on a transcription of everything I plan on saying. I then bring the transcript to the pulpit where I will reference it as needed throughout the sermon. This was not how John Calvin...

The Reviews are in on Calvin’s Institutes

At the young age of twenty-six, John Calvin finished the first edition of the Institutes of the Christian Religion. The results and response to the work was impressive, to say the very least. He was only in his twenty-sixth year, when he published...

Calvin Always Makes Me Feel Lazy

It never ceases to amaze (and humble) me when I look at how much work John Calvin did in his lifetime. Besides all his writing, travel, and other work, here is a report of his preaching efforts: During the decades of the 1540s and 1550s, Calvin was...

The Judgment of Arminius

Say what you will about the conflict between Calvinists and Arminians, at the very least Calvinists have this card to play: The judgment of his great opponent, Arminius, upon Calvin’s merits as a commentator, has been sustained by the verdict of...

Calvin’s Last Letter to Farel

Nearing death, Calvin wrote the following to his dear friend Farel, Farewell, my best and most worthy brother. Since God has determined that you should survive me in this world, live mindful of our union, which has been so useful to the Church of...

The Love of Calvin for His Wife

Some have considered Calvin to be a completely cool, collected, and compassionate individual, but from his letters one sees that his care and love for people often ran deep. For instance, when he heard that the plague had broken out in Strasburg...

A Wife Worthy of the Challange

One can only imagine the challenges of being married to someone with such a gift and call as John Calvin. On top of the enormous burden he carried for Geneva, the church, the reformation, and the Gospel, he was often ill from the labors he put...

What do you look for in a wife?

I’m currently 32 years old and have been married for 10 of those years. At age 30 John Calvin was still not married. While trying to find a suitable woman to marry, Calvin penned a letter to his good friend Farel who was trying to help him...

And You Think You’re Busy?

I often feel like I’m busy and have a lot on my plate. A quick inquiry into all that John Calvin had on his plate (without a computer, email, or even a typewriter for that matter) make me truly appreciate the labors that he undertook on behalf...