Archive for the ‘calvin’ Category

Reformation Day

31 October 2011

HERE is a good wee interview with Mike Reeves on the reformation.

If you have a bit more time, then tackle THIS article on the reformation as well.

Want more?

HERE is a video interview with Michael Haykin.

HERE is a free download of RC Sproul’s children’s book on Luther.



Travel with John Calvin

16 October 2009

My guess is most of us didn’t make it to Geneva for the Calvin500 events. Perhaps the next best thing arrived in the post today. It is the latest DayOne book in the ‘Travel With’ series, which is on John Calvin. Travel_with_John_Calvin(3)If you haven’t read any in this series (which is quite extensive now: Knox, M’Cheyne, Martyrs of Mary Tudor, Bible in the British Museum, Bunyan, etc.) you are missing out. They are fantastic brief (120 pages each) biographies that have voluminous pictures and extremely helpful information if you want to visit these places. They are worth reading even if you aren’t going to be going to Geneva or Frankfurt. We have benefited from a number of these here in the UK. It would be great if DayOne did some city specific ones instead of just people specific. I’ll have to let them know.

The other one that came with Calvin in the post is on Egypt. My wife has been, but I haven’t, so this will have to do.

London, John Calvin, and rock ‘n roll

11 September 2009

This weekend I’m off to preach down in London. Providentially there is a wee two day conference on John Calvin being put on by the John Owen Centre in north London. I hope to post some reviews/feedback when I return middle of next week.

_largethumb_PGG259_BKIn other providential news, I’ve managed to get a killer deal on my first electric guitar. It was listed on ebay and was ‘pick-up’ only, no posting allowed. Well, the chap lives 5 minutes from King’s Cross train station where I’ll be arriving tomorrow night. It’s a small guy, and black (I’ve always wanted a black guitar) and the amp is built into it, so just take it and go.

Calvin on the work of Christ

24 June 2009

Institutes II.xvi.19

When we see that the whole sum of our salvation, and every single part of it, are comprehended in Christ, we must beware of deriving even the least portion of it from any other quarter. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that he possesses it; if we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, we shall find them in his anointing; strength in his dominion; purity in his conception; gentleness in his nativity, in which he was made like us in all respects, in order that he might learn to sympathise with us: if we seek redemption, we shall find it in his passion; acquittal in his condemnation; remission of the curse in his cross; satisfaction in his sacrifice; purification in his blood; reconciliation in his descent to hell; mortification of the flesh in his tomb; newness of life in his resurrection; immortality also in his resurrection; the inheritance of a celestial kingdom in his entrance into heaven; protection, security, and the abundant supply of all blessings, in his kingdom; secure anticipation of judgement in the power of judging committed to him. In short, since in him all kinds of blessings are treasured up, let us draw a full supply from him, and none from any other quarter.

We are a part of something bigger

21 May 2009

It is not very sound theology to confine a man’s thoughts so much to himself, and not to set before him, as the prime motive of his existence, zeal to show forth the glory of God. For we are born first of all for God, and not for ourselves.
~ John Calvin (from John Calvin: Pilgrim & Pastor by Robert Godfrey)

This is a needed reminder in the 21st century western world, for myself, and for all of humanity. Not only does it address the issue of our pride and selfishness, but it immediately gives meaning to everyone’s life. None are without significance and purpose when we look to God first and ourselves second.

Works and Salvation

15 May 2009

Throughout this chapter (Rom 6) the apostle maintains that those who imagine that Christ bestows free justification upon us without newness of life shamefully rend Christ asunder.

~ John Calvin on Romans 6

You cannot separate the gifts of Christ from the person of Christ. He does not hand out gifts, he gives himself.

I didn’t know that.

2 May 2009

This last week I was privileged to attend the Banner of Truth Ministers conference (blogged about here). It was a fantastic time of fellowship, teaching, and nourishment upon the word. Most of the talks focused on John Calvin as we remember the 500th anniversary of his birth. One very interesting message was on Calvin and Mission. My guess is that most people don’t associate those two words together, and certainly not folks who dislike Calvin. There is a stack of books in our church library (they are all the same book, just multiple copies) that in the introduction the author says that he is against calvinism because it is inherently anti-evangelistic. Ignorant, misinformed, and prejudiced that statement is.

Anyhow, all that to say, in a 6 year period over 2000 church planter/missionaries were sent out from Calvin’s academy in Geneva. I wonder if that number in such a short span of time has ever been matched? Of course, it was/is God’s work, but here he chose to use John Calvin to facilitate it.

Calvin and Servetus

19 March 2009

In a recent question and answer panel Steve Lawson had this to say about Calvin’s role in the burning of Servetus. Nothing new here really, but it is helpful to have all the information in one place and stated so succinctly. Next time someone blames Calvin for burning Servetus, send this info on to them.

In 1553, the city fathers burned Servetus – Calvin did not. Calvin did not prosecute him, and had no powers of execution. Calvin wasn’t even a citizen of Geneva at the time. Calvin was only an expert witness, and argued for a more humane death. The RCC had already condemned Servetus to death, and Servetus begged not to be sent back to their hands. Servetus was given the option to leave Geneva, and refused. Servetus was executed by civil authorities, not elders or pastors or teachers. The civil authorities were Calvin’s enemies, not his supporters. They consulted other cities’ leaders, and they agreed to put him to death. Servetus would have been executed, regardless. Servetus defiantly ignored a warning not to come to Geneva. He was the only heretic to be executed for blasphemy, as opposed to the hundreds of thousands martyred by Rome during the Inquisition.

More truth for all time

14 March 2009

Here are a few more gems from Calvin’s wee book. The first deals with the nature of the Christian faith. Calvin writes,

Christian faith is, rather, a firm and solid assurance of the heart, by which we cling securely to the mercy of God which is promised to us through the gospel.

Here is another that discusses the work of a pastor and why a proper title for him is a ‘servant of the word.’

Let us remember, however, that the authority which scripture attributes to pastors is wholly contained within the limits of the ministry of the word, for the fact is that Christ has not given this authority to men, but to the Word of which he has made these men servants.

There seems to be an awful lot of authoritative speaking in the church these days which is divorced from the word, and those who do speak authoritatively from the word are often labeled as proud and arrogant. The irony is thick, as well as the sadness deep.

Calvin – Truth for all time

12 March 2009

I recently started Calvin’s wee book Truth for all Time. It is somewhat of an abstract of his institutes, the bare bones of it, as it were. It is filled with gems. Here are a few from the opening chapter.

We should long for [God] with all the affection of our hearts, and not find rest and peace anywhere except in him alone.

[True godliness] embraces his righteousness and detests offending him more than dying.

The will, wicked and full of corrupt affections, hates God’s justice more than anything.

Some challenging words, and some very insightful words into the human condition. In a world that cries out for justice, it must be asked, justice on whose terms? The answer, anyone’s but God’s. In the eyes of the world, God’s justice makes him into a monster, whereas human justice makes one a saviour.