Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reading Calvin's Institutes

Jim Beale, of the
so many books
so little time
T shirt and I have set up a Yahoo group for people who want to read and discuss John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. This has been prompted by the fact that next year is the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

I'm hoping to complete the project by the end of next year. I am guessing that it may be harder to keep at this task than it has been to read through the Bible and I'm hoping that doing this together in a group will help me to persevere.

So far I have read a mere 4 chapters, and have discovered that the puzzling title [to me, anyway] can mean
a digest of the elements of a subject, especially jurisprudence
but also that the original title was singular and probably means
Instruction in the Christian Religion.

The opening of the book reminds me very much of the second half of Romans chapter one. So Calvin seems to begin explaining the gospel where Paul began, by telling us that everyone knows there is a God and that everyone suppresses and distorts this knowledge, without God's gracious intervention.

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