Thursday, July 2, 2009

Videos: Why Is John Calvin Important For The Church Today?

I just watched these two minute video clips from those slotted to speak at the upcoming Desiring God conference on John Calvin. In the clips, each conference speaker explains the aspect of Calvin he thinks the church can learn most from today. Although I think Piper hit the nail on the head, all of the men had helpful insights.

If you've noticed a seeming inordinate amount of attention given to John Calvin lately and wondered why, you'll be happy to know that this year he turns 500. Calvin lived from 1509-1564. In honour of this birthday, there are a lot of Calvin conferences going on and books being published. For my own part, I've taken 2009 as a chance to read through Calvin's monumental book of systematic theology, 'The Institutes of the Christian Religion" using this one year reading plan. I'm half way done and it's been well worth the effort thus far. If you are interested in starting this plan, just ignore the dates and jump in! I'd love to learn together by chatting about what we learn. (Note: the Latin word 'Institutio' simply means 'instruction'. Perhaps a more accurate English title would be 'Instruction in the Christian Religion.) Calvin's work is rich in its mining of the Bible. He also had a talent for being both succinct and readable (a combo I wish I had). The 1800 page book was originally published as a primer to help people read the Bible better; kind of a brief introduction to the Bible for beginners in 1800 pages or less!

Also on the Calvin note, Covenant Seminary has lectures on Calvin available for free on iTunes. I've listened to 9 out of 26 and they are very helpful so far (though a bit monotone). To find them open iTunes (if you have it), click on 'iTunes store' and do a search on 'Calvin's Institutes'. You'll find the lectures under iTunes University with a Covenant Seminary Logo. Regent Seminary sells lectures by my old prof, Dr. Victor Shepherd, and I found them really helpful when I audited the course back in 2003.

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