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An Early Response to Calvin’s ‘Institutes’

Category Book Reviews
Date December 23, 2014

I’m really enjoying the 1541 Institutes,1 and have now reached around page 160. I had been working through him at a fairly fast pace, but came down with a really bad dose of tonsillitis last week, and spent a few days in bed with a high temperature. It’s so frustrating to have time off and not be able to read!!

Calvin’s understanding of man is spellbinding. I was reading him on the National Express on the way into London on the first day of the Westminster Conference, and found his balance between not shrinking back from man’s utter depravity, and yet celebrating the vestiges of God’s creative glory persisting in our aesthetic sense, to be so refreshing. I felt that he nailed ‘holy worldliness’ so well! I’m at the tail end of his treatment of the Law now, and once again have had my heart warmed and challenged.

I’m so glad that Banner decided to release this edition. It’s brevity and leanness lend it an immediacy and force that I don’t think I picked up in the Battles edition. Robert White’s translation is a joy as well; none of those rough edges or idiomatic oddities that I find so often spoil translated works.

Notes

    • Cover image for John Calvin's 'Institutes of the Christian Religion'
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      I’m really enjoying the 1541 Institutes,1 and have now reached around page 160. I had been working through him at a fairly fast pace, but came down with a really bad dose of tonsillitis last week, and spent a few days in bed with a high temperature. It’s so frustrating to have time off and […]

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