Institutes – Prefatory Address Question 2

Prefatory Address Question 2: What do we learn about the situation of the Protestant cause in France from Calvin’s Prefatory Address to King Francis I, the Author’s Preface of his Psalms commentary, and his reply to Sadoleto?

After Calvin’s conversion to (what later became known as) Protestantism in 1533, he was implicated in the Affair of the Placards of 1534, in which posters criticizing the Roman Church (RC) view of the Eucharist were found in certain French cities; one such placard was posted to the bedchamber door of King Francis I, who became alarmed. In response, Read more

Institutes – Prefatory Address Question 1

Prefatory Address Question 1: How does Calvin’s aim in writing the Institutes differ from the reason or aim in many serious works on theology today?

Calvin himself listed the reasons he wrote the Institutes. One was to provide a basic understanding of the way of salvation, or in other words an understanding of the whole Bible and what it teaches us about God, man and the church. His aim was to structure the Institutes along the lines of the Apostle’s Creed, so that the first book would be about God the Father, the second about Christ as Redeemer (which includes his section on man), the third about the Holy Spirit (who applies Christ to His elect), and the last about the church. Calvin thought that if he wrote Bible commentaries, he would have to spend a lot of time explaining basics to his reader; to keep these brief, he chose to provide his readers with the Institutes. Read more

Reading Through Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

Many Christians over the years have attempted to read through John Calvin’s huge Institutes of the Christian Religion, not all successfully. It’s a daunting task but scores of learned men have benefited from the journey. I will blog about this journey using J. Mark Beach’s study guide, Piety’s Wisdom, to spur my thoughts and writing on this book. He covers the whole work and provides questions for each section.