Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cottret's Calvin




He will do no wrong if he selects Bernard Cottret's Calvin: A Biography to get an introduction to John Calvin's life. It is one of the best biographies I have read on Calvin in recent years, better than Bruce Gordon's Calvin which I read a couple of years ago. John Calvin's life more than anyone else has been my inspiration for many years. Not that I see myself anything like this great reformer, but his youth and training mirrored mine in some ways. Calvin was a lawyer and a self-taught theologian.
He was a humanist who mastered the humanities, "liberal arts" of today, church fathers and philosophers, Christian and pagan. I have no hesitation to say that as a work of systematic theology, Calvin's Institutes of Religion has not been surpassed until today and I speak from a measure of experience since my major for my first theological degree was in Systematic theology where I had read Karl Barth among others, but I have always returned to the reformers especially of Calvin's Institutes.

2 comments:

  1. That Calvin's Institutes has not been surpassed by illustrious theologians after half a millennium is indeed high praise, Dr Siew.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, Calvin had a way with words, even in the English translation one can still feel the freshness, clarity and precision of Calvin's formulations, more so of course in French and Latin.

    ReplyDelete

Featured Post

Recent Research on Revelation

In a crowded field of scholarship, I am delighted to see my name mentioned along with 40 or more scholars by Russell Morton's Recent Res...