Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion

Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion

by John T. McNeill

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This is the definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church. All previous editions--in Latin, French, German, and English--have been collated; references and notes have been verified, corrected, and expanded; and new bibliographies have been added.The translation preserves the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin's writing, but also conforms to modern English and renders heavy theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and at the same time is eminently readable.

Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611644456
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date: 01/01/1960
Series: Library of Christian Classics
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 19 MB
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About the Author

John T. McNeill was an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He taught at Westminster Hall; Queen's University, Ontario; Knox College, Toronto; the University of Chicago; and Union Theological Seminary, New York. McNeill authored many books, and was one of the general editors of The Library of Christian Classics.

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Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Volume Set 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago

Calvin¿s classic theology still stands as one of the best theologies ever written. Calvin was extremely thorough in every area he discussed. But this thoroughness does leave this volume difficult going at times. But the knowledge that can be gained from reading this theology makes the effort worthwhile.

Despite popular conceptions, Calvin¿s Institutes is not primarily devoted to presenting Calvin¿s view of predestination. Of course, his view on this matter is presented, and rather strongly so. But such discussions only constitute a small percentage of this work. Calvin deals with all aspects of the Christian faith in as much depth as he does predestination.

However, Calvin¿s treatment of those he disagrees with is less than congenial, to say the least. He is especially harsh on Anabaptists and Catholics (whom he calls ¿papists¿). It was somewhat the norm at time to be harsh with one¿s ¿opponents,¿ so Calvin cannot be faulted too much for this. But still, such language in theological debates is uncalled for today.

So if you can get past the harsh language and are ready to really exercise your mind and to learn all you can about the Christian faith, then it is definitely worthwhile to attain and work your way through these volumes.

richardsugg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much has been said and hated about John Calvin, but I fear too little of Calvin has been read. "Institutes" is about much more than election, but rather presents an entire worldview through with we can understand God, ourselves, and the world God has created. He does this primarily through Scripture but also is well-equipped to argue through natural revelation and human authors.Despite the many weighty topics Calvin addresses, he writes with a deeply devotional style. He is witty and clever, and to his opponents, acerbic. Calvin reserves little patience for those who blaspheme God through human traditionalism or faulty reasoning. The only difficulty one would encounter when reading Calvin is his references to his contemporary events, but this should not deter any reader.
theologian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best systematic theology ever written.
brianghedges on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion is a masterfully written systematic summary and defense of the basic tenets of Christianity. It is exegetical in substance, Christ-centered in focus, worshipful in tone, and polemical in style.Exegetical in substance - Calvin has been called the "father of modern exegesis" and rightly so. He pioneered the literal-historical-grammatical method of exegesis. This is especially true of his excellent commentaries, but also reflected in the Institutes. The final court of appeal for Calvin is Scripture. His arguments are laced with quotations from the Bible and one senses that Calvin was very hesitant to go further than Scripture in his surmizings.Christ-centered in focus - This has really struck me in my reading Calvin (I'm now in volume 2 of this edition). Calvin's Christology was robust and it pervades virtually every page of the Institutes. This is especially true in Book III, which is especially rich.Worshipful in tone - Despite what some people may think, Calvin is not a dry theologian. Some Calvinists could benefit from soaking in their fore-father - perhaps picking up some of his reverence and humility. Seriously, this book lifts my gaze to God. That's good enough reason to recommend it.Polemical in style - Along with everything above, Calvin was a polemicist, no doubt about it. This book is saucy! Calvin didn't hesitate to call his adversaries by name AND call them names. That may seem harsh to modern readers and leave a sour taste in some mouths. But even Jesus could call the Pharisees vipers and Calvin doesn't stray too far from his master in this regard. We should also remember the turbulent times in which Calvin wrote. He says in his preface that one of the reasons he wrote the Institutes was to make clear what young French pastors who were being martyred were dying for. Remember that his friends were being killed for their convictions before getting too critical of Calvin's language.This edition is probably the best available with helpful notes and an excellent team of scholars under J. T. McNeil behind the text. Calvin's quotations are documented and the text is keyed with symbols showing the development of the Institutes from its initial version in 1536 through its five reprints (the final in 1559).An excellent read for anyone interested in Reformed theology, historical theology, systematic theology or . . . just theology!
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