A Guide to Christian Living

Look Inside Price $12.60

500 in stock

Weight 0.22 lbs
Dimensions 5.55 × 4 × 0.5 in
ISBN 9781848710405

Soft Cover, Gift Edition


Spiritual Growth

Original Pub Date


Banner Pub Date

Nov 1, 2009

Page Count



New Testament




Gift Editions

Book Description

John Calvin’s book, A Guide to Christian Living, is an imitation leather volume embossed with Calvin’s insignia. When Calvin first began writing his Institutes of the Christian Religion, he had in mind a short handbook or manual which would set out the essentials of the Christian faith. Although the persecution of Protestants in France led him in time to accentuate the apologetic nature of the book, the Institutes, as first published in 1536, remained a work of Christian instruction, intended, as Calvin says, for those who were ‘touched with some zeal for religion,’ and principally for those among his French compatriots who ‘were hungering and thirsting for Christ,’ and who ‘might be shaped to true godliness.’

No chapter better corresponds to the author’s original intention than that entitled ‘On the Christian Life.’ It offers a clear and balanced set of directions and encouragements to all who desired to live according to the gospel. Strong in its theological affirmation of God’s righteousness and providential care, of the reconciliation won for us by Christ and of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification, it was equally strong in its pastoral concern for believers who were beset by their own weakness and sin, who daily endured trial and temptation and who nevertheless, united to Christ by faith, shared in his life and tasted his power. The Christian life, as Calvin describes it, is lived simultaneously in the shadow of the cross and in the bright light of the resurrection. That the writer himself knew something of the cost of discipleship is clear from a consideration of his own experience. The distress of exile, the burden of poverty, the hurt of slander and misrepresentation, the threat of physical harm, were all things he knew at first hand. Farel, Calvin’s colleague, rightly calls him ‘my good, true brother, who is a partner in the cross of Jesus, . . . a man active and upright in the work of the gospel.’ The author who speaks in the Institutes about the pressures of Christian living is no armchair moralist, nor is he an unyielding Stoic for whom overt displays of emotion are a grave weakness. For Calvin tears as well as joy have a valid and necessary place: to be devoid of feeling is to be no better than a stone or block of wood. The essential thing is that, in good times and in bad, we continue to trust God who through grace has adopted us as his children, who quickens and comforts us by his Spirit, and who bids us persevere in well-doing until our life’s end.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

Introduction xi
1 Scriptural foundations for Christian living 1
2 Denying self: the key to Christian living 17
3 Living under the cross 55
4 The glory of the life to come 87
5 The blessings of this present life 109
Endnotes 129
Index of Scripture references 141
Index of subjects 145

2 testimonials for A Guide to Christian Living

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  1. xiqtem

    A Review of, “A Guide to Christian Living” by the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, as Translated by Robert White for The Banner of Truth Trust.

    This book is an excerpt of the beginning of, “Book 3, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1560 French edition.” It is 140 pages long. It has a short introduction providing some background information about John Calvin and his, “Institutes.” It also explains Calvin’s purpose in writing, “Book 3” His purpose is also made clear in this book’s title. At the end of the book are, the endnotes, and indexes of scripture references, as well as subjects. This book is published by The Banner of Truth Trust. It is printed by Versa Press Inc., of East Peoria Illinois USA. The font is a very legible 10.5/13.5 Adobe Caslon Pro typeset. It is available in print, e-pub, and Kindle. I found the paper to be very thick and easy to highlight. It is covered in green faux leather. The cover is decorated with a perimeter channel, image of Calvin, and the title stamped in it to resemble tooling. The spine looks to be sewn and glued. It has the title stamped parallel to the spine, John Calvin under that, and The Banner of Truth’s logo at the foot. Overall I found the book to be well constructed and easy to read.
    If you are familiar with the works of Calvin, you’ll recognize this when you start reading it. Unlike many of his Latin works that were translated into English, this translation seems less formal and verbose. Due to that fact I t lends itself to devotional reading. It works well for daily devotional reading and gives you something to ponder for the day. I found myself nodding my head in agreement several times and wondering what other sections of Calvin’s works could be arranged as devotionals. It was very refreshing to read something scriptural in Modern English. As of late the choices have been dismal. Most devotionals in Modern English are full of extra-biblical revelations, or pseudo-self-help drivel. People have been feasting on cotton candy theology and starving. Reading something that makes you truly consider what is being communicated is stimulating. You have to engage your head and your heart, not just one or the other. People say that Calvin is to dry, but if you read his work you will see his passion for God come through.
    My copy of Spurgeon’s, “Morning and Evening” is a bit too large to carry with me to work. This book is much smaller. I can fit it in my pocket. The paper is very thick and heavy, not like Bible paper at all. Highlighting and underlining works well. I was underlining and highlighting sections to quote on social media later on. This way you don’t have to mark up your nicer complete volume of Calvin’s Institutes. Since this little book is more durable it stands up to being carried about.
    I recommend this for personal devotions as well as a gift to the newly born again. I think it will aid them in getting their foundational notions in order.

  2. Adam

    I had always avoided reading books on Calvin wrongly believing them to be too complicated. But when I was asked to read this specific book for a Crosslands Seminary essay, I took a week to carefully read through it. How wrong about Calvin I have been!! It is one of the best books that I have read on how to live as a Christian. Easy to read, insightful, and though a small book, it is a rich treasure of timeless truths, encouragements, challenges and hope that I think every Christian will benefit from reading. I have ordered more copies to give to friends this Christmas!

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    A clear, balanced set of directions and encouragements to all who desire to live according to the gospel. Translated by Robert White. 128pp.

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