Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reading Through Calvin's Institutes in 2009

Who has been historically known as "The Theologian of the Holy Spirit"?

Whose personal slogan was "Here Lord, I offer my heart sincerely and promptly?"

Who often sold portions of his personal library to buy new sheets and provisions for the widows of Protestant pastors whose husbands had been murdered in their beds by Roman Catholics?

Whose writings influenced the governments of 5 major western countries (England, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, and the United States)?

Who was born July 10, 1509, thus making this coming year, 2009, the quincentenary year (500th) of his birth?

John Calvin.

Excluding the Apostles, the greatest theologians in the history of the Christian Church were probably Augustine, Athanasius, Luther, and Calvin. While Calvin is often derided and maligned, he is rarely read. In some circles you would think he had horns and a pointed tail. But the truth is, he was a meek and quiet man, totally devoted to God and His Word, and his labors have had lasting influence on not just the Church, but the entire world.

Therefore, I want to invite whoever, young or old (or in the middle), who is interested, to read through his Institutes of the Christian Religion with me in 2009. The best way to understand Calvin is to read him for yourself, and you will be amazed at what you will learn for your effort.

A PDF of a reading plan for 2009 that skips the Lord's Day each week is available here. I plan to blog some comments each week here throughout the year.