Calvinism Speaks to All of Life

from Jul 10, 2009 Category: Ligonier Resources

While many Christians throughout the world are familiar with the name John Calvin, most are unfamiliar with him as a man who was devoted to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. Among many things, he was a father, a teacher, a Bible commentator and the theologian most widely known as the leader of the Protestant Reformation. Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism, John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology, and The Expository Genius of John Calvin are three works that seek to shed light on why learning about John Calvin these many years after his death is a spiritually worthy exercise. 

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Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin writes in the foreword of Living for God’s Glory, ”With all of my heart, I believe that the Reformed faith, or “Calvinism,” is biblical Christianity—or the closest thing to it in the history of the church. This conviction rises out of thirty-four years of reading the Scriptures and church history.
“It is not the conviction I had when I began my pilgrimage as a Christian. From February 1974, when I was converted as a philosophy student at the University of Toronto, through the next seven years, I was deeply involved in the charismatic movement. I was also enamored with the vision of the Christian life expressed by some of the church fathers and John Wesley, their eighteenth-century student. Wesley was definitely not a Calvinist, though at some points in his life, by his own admission, he was within an inch or two of it.
“I suspect it was Augustine who helped change my theological outlook. Augustine’s stress on the sovereignty of God’s grace in salvation, described in his Confessions, won me when I first read the book in the mid-1970s. But I was still ignorant of some important issues. … “
“The chapters in this volume examine the main areas of Christian thought and life from the vantage point of Calvinism, showing how it makes sense of the Scriptures and Christian experience. The chapters in Part Five look at some of the broader aspects of society through the lens of Calvinism. Other areas of human life could have been examined through this lens with satisfying results. But the areas discussed are sufficient to show how Calvinism speaks to all spheres.”
Read the rest of the Foreword.  
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson concludes this volume: “The terms Calvinism and doxology are not ordinarily associated with each other, even by Christians. Yet it is the overall contention of both this volume as a whole, and of this conclusion in particular, that Calvinism is always doxological—otherwise it cannot be either truly biblical or truly Calvinistic, and therefore, at the end of the day, cannot be true theology. For true theology always leads to doxology.
“Doxology is, literally, a word or words of praise. Doxologies punctuate the Bible because they punctuate the life of faith. This at least was Paul’s understanding of the life of Abraham: “he was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). The rhythm of the Christian’s life is always determined by the principle that when the revelation of God in His glory is grasped by faith, the response is to return all glory to God.”
Read Chapter 28 here.

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