Insights in the Institutes

17 07 2008

There truly is nothing new under the sun, and the reading of masterworks from historic Christianity confirms this most fully. I have recently been working my way (very slowly) through John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, and have found this to be particularly true. Time and again as I have read Calvin’s depictions of man and God, his sentiments have come home with such force and relevance to contemporary situations and debates that I have marvelled at the power and timeless quality.

Over the next while I hope to post a series of posts which show how Calvin’s words from the sixteenth carry power and import for the twenty-first century, and how many of the debates and difficulties now faced within Christianity, as well as assaults upon it from a hostile world, are not new but old and well answered by believers of a different time. It goes without saying that Calvin is not directly or explicitly addresing the issues I highlight, but that I am applying his wisdom on the topics of his day in such a way as to show the ideological basis of his concerns and controversies are exactly the same as ours today. My hope is that these occasional posts will be helpful to others, but that they will also form into a repository of quotations and theses which will inform my own ministry and preaching in days to come.

The first insight from the institutes will appear next Thursday, and then on certain Thursdays following.

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