An introduction to the essential life and thought of one of history's most influential theologians, who considered himself first and foremost a pilgrim and a pastor.
July 10, 2009, marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. As controversial as he was influential, his critics have named a judgmental and joyless attitude after him, while his admirers celebrate him as the principal theologian of Reformed Christianity. Yet his impact is unmistakable - a primary developer of western civilization whose life and work have deeply affected five centuries worth of pastors, scholars, and individuals.
What will surprise the readers of this book, however, is that Calvin did not live primarily to influence future generations. Rather, he considered himself first and foremost a spiritual pilgrim and a minister of the Word in the church of his day. It was from that "essential" Calvin that all his influence flowed.
Here is an introduction to Calvin's life and thought and essence: a man who moved people not through the power of personality but through passion for the Word, a man who sought to serve the gospel in the most humble of roles.
Published April 2009
About the Author
W. Robert Godfrey is president of Westminster Seminary California and a longtime professor of church history whose many speaking engagements have included conferences sponsored by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Ligonier Ministries, and the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology. Godfrey is a minister in the United Reformed Churches and the author of four other books and numerous articles.
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: April 2009
ISBN 13: 9781433501326
"A rich tapestry woven from both Calvin's life-story and his profound biblical theology. Robert Godfrey's mature scholarship, enthusiasm for his subject, and easy style bring Calvin to life for the twenty-first-century reader. Here is a rare work indeed."
- Sinclair B. Ferguson, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
"A masterful treatment of John Calvin by a masterful church historian."
- R. C. Sproul, Chairman and President , Ligonier Ministries
"As a veteran church historian, Godfrey places the Reformer in his context and does not hide his blemishes. I owe a great deal of my own formative understanding of Calvin to Robert Godfrey and hope for a wide readership of this important book."
- Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
"Combining excellent scholarship with an accessible style, Godfrey has once again placed the church in his debt as he resurrects the character from the caricature in which Calvin is so often buried."
- Robert Norris, Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Maryland
Arguably the best introduction to the life and ministry of John Calvin by one of the Reformed world's best interpreters of the Reformation for anyone wondering what the fuss is over the five-hundredth anniversary of Calvin's birth, this is the place to start."
- D. G. Hart, author, Defending the Faith