Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It has been a while...

...since I've posted. For me, three weeks is a long time and really, when you get right down to it, the fall was pretty sporadic. Of course, that is an indication of how hectic things have been. So, one of my resolutions is to make sure I get on here more often--my goal is 12-15 posts a month. Being on sabbatical this spring will help that, I'm sure.

I know that I'll be posting on the Ref21 Calvin blog: Blogging the Institutes. My first posts will be somewhere early in Book 2; so I think they'll show up in March! As part of this (in addition to the fact it is Calvin's 500th birthday!), I decided this year to read straight through the Institutes, which I've never done. I'm doing my ten pages each morning and am now up to 1.18.

One of the things that has struck me afresh is how the Institutes really are what Calvin (and what I in class) say they are: a manual on piety. Over and again, Calvin preaches, cajoles, directs, persuades and urges; he calls on us to "lift your hearts up" to heaven in order to mediate on the grace and glory of God. He wants us to be changed through a genuine love of God our gracious and loving father. It has been quite refreshing spiritually to do this.

4 comments:

Todd Gwennap said...

I'm trying to read through the Institutes this year also (following the Princeton Seminary schedule). I just finished the prefatory, and I am really enjoying it so far. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

Enjoy your sabbatical! I'll be seeing you around church, though, I suppose.

Bob Smallman said...

Years ago I took a seminary course on Calvin, and one of the reading requirements was (naturally) to read through the Battles edition of the Institutes. Sadly, I don't remember anything about any of the prof's lectures, but the experience of reading Calvin in such a concentrated fashion was truly life-changing. I am often amazed by how many "Calvinists" simply assume what Calvin said (or didn't say). To read the Institutes is to begin to understand what devotional Biblical theology is all about.

David Rothstein said...

Four years ago, I was radically converted to the Reformed faith (from a more broad, dispensational, pietistic, evangelicalism) through reading the Institutes cover to cover. I'd been a Christian for 15 years, and had enjoyed reading Packer, Piper, and Schaeffer, but it wasn't until I finally read Calvin (I had begun to realize those other guys were all drawing from the Reformed tradition) that it all came together (and that very rapidly!). I devoured that book as questions I'd given up on ever finding answers to were now *finally* being answered!

John D. Chitty said...

Looking forward to your blogging on the Institutes.