Listen to Calvin

calvin2009

I am SO excited to find this. I’ve been looking for an audio of the Institutes, to help me through those days when I’ve just done too much reading already and my eyes can’t do anymore. Princeton Theological Seminary is podcasting the daily readings, (click on Add to iTunes there, or just use this direct link to the iTunes podcast.)

You can also go online there and read or listen to them on your computer, (by clicking today’s date or Listen to Audio,) or read them on your mobile – go to http://www2.ptsem.edu/ConEd/mobile/ on your mobile/iTouch/iPhone and add a bookmark or shortcut icon.

Just a few more ways to make the Institutes, more accessible.


 

2009 Happy Birthday

I was made aware last week that 2009 is the 200th birthday of Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of Origins of the Species. “Atheists are planning worldwide celebrations.”

I had become aware several months ago that 2009 is the 500th birthday of John Calvin. Christian believers worldwide are planning their own celebration.

Both men were highly influential to our nation. Calvin set forth the biblical foundations that our nation was founded and built on. Darwin the ideas that are instrumental in the destruction of our nation today.

I think I’ll stick with my reading of Calvin‘s positive influence.

 

Meditation Monday – Beginning the Institutes

Well, it’s on my bedstand and I’ve given it a start. I don’t generally do well at other’s “challenges” because, well, Life comes along, and my priorities aren’t those imposed by someone else’s schedule, so although “A man’s heart deviseth his way” “THE LORD directeth his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

By God’s will and grace, I will finish this, though I’m not going to promise it will be on the same “reading schedule” proposed. That is only a good goal to aim for. I started early and read ahead of schedule a bit, knowing I need a jumpstart.

I’ve not read deeply of Calvin before, but have read bits and pieces, and also read those both for and against him. As in any historical study, I believe we need to “go to the source”, read (listen to) the man himself before making judgments.

I adhere to the “doctrines of grace” and believe much of “reformed” teaching to be Biblical teaching, but don’t label myself a “Calvinist.” I am not a follower (disciple) of Calvin, for at this point that would be a blind following in ignorance. I haven’t read enough of the man’s own writings to know if that would be, “You follow me as I follow Christ.”

In as much as he “follows Christ” I will learn from him. I will take all I read and ask “what saith the Lord?” comparing it with Scripture itself, as with all studies.

So far a couple of things have impressed upon me as I’ve read. Calvin’s time was much like our own. There was much ignorance of the Bible, what it really says as a whole, taking the things they heard that it said, without studying the Scriptures themselves. A cry arose, Sola Scriptura! That same cry needs to arise today. We need, as they did, to know and follow the Scriptures and to compare all else to them.

Calvin endeavored to lead those that were ignorant of the Scriptures to the Scriptures, to disciple those that were desiring to study to lead God’s people. His “object in this work” being “to prepare and train candidates for the sacred office, for the study of the sacred volume, that they may both have an easy introduction to it, and be able to prosecute it with unfaltering step.”

procecute: “To follow or pursue with a view to reach, execute or accomplish;”

“By the blessing of God, my most ardent desire has been to advance his kingdom, and promote the public good.”

“The zeal of those whose cause I undertook,
Has swelled a short defense into a book.”

quotes from “To the Reader” Institutes of the Christian Religion

Get the Reading Schedule (email: just ask for it) to read along with Blogging the Institutes. You can also sign up for the RSS Feed or email updates to stay abreast.

Can’t invest in the book right now? Get a free pdf download copy (or read online) from Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

 

Blogging the Institutes

No, not me. Beginning in January Reformation21 will be blogging their way through John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. I’ll be trying to keep up the reading, but doubt I’ll be able to do regular blogging on it.

If you aren’t familiar with the Institutes, don’t let that word “religion” throw you. It has only become a “bad” word in our culture. (See below.) Yes, there is hypocritical religion that is man’s way of trying to reach for/appease/become God. But Christianity is a religion. Difference is, it is TRUE religion. It includes the working out of what God has wrought in our hearts – IOW, both faith and practice.

This book was a necessary work in its time, when people were ignorant of true religion (worshipping the One True God aright, from a heart that had been transformed by Him) just as it is now, in a time that is much the same, when everyone does what is right in their own eyes. This is a “must read, must study, must do” according to my friend Joan. It will truly help you in your Christian walk.

Email r21@alliancenet.org for a reading schedule, and sign up for the RSS feed or email subscription of the blog posts here.

Purchase Institutes at a great price here.

561685: Institutes of the Christian Religion Institutes of the Christian Religion
By John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge / Hendrickson PublishersA colossal milestone of Christian thought—at an irresistible price! Calvin’s sweeping outline of biblical faith stands among a select group of books that truly shaped the course of church history. Newly re-typeset for clarity, this single volume translated by Henry Beveridge offers a more affordable edition of one of the last millennium’s must-have works. 1100 pages, hardcover from Hendrickson.

Webster’s original American dictionary of the English language:RELIGION, n. relij”on. [L. religio, from religo, to bind anew; re and ligo, to bind. This word seems originally to have signified an oath or vow to the gods, or the obligation of such an oath or vow, which was held very sacred by the Romans.]

1. Religion, in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man’s obligation to obey his commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man’s accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties. It therefore comprehends theology, as a system of doctrines or principles, as well as practical piety; for the practice of moral duties without a belief in a divine lawgiver, and without reference to his will or commands, is not religion.

2. Religion, as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law. James 1.

3. Religion, as distinct from virtue, or morality, consists in the performance of the duties we owe directly to God, from a principle of obedience to his will. Hence we often speak of religion and virtue, as different branches of one system, or the duties of the first and second tables of the law.

Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.

4. Any system of faith and worship. In this sense, religion comprehends the belief and worship of pagans and Mohammedans, as well as of Christians; any religion consisting in the belief of a superior power or powers governing the world, and in the worship of such power or powers. Thus we speak of the religion of the Turks, of the Hindoos, of the Indians, &c. as well as of the Christian religion. We speak of false religion, as well as of true religion.