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John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology [Hardcover]

By Burk Parsons (Editor) & Iain H. Murray (Foreword by)
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Item description for John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology by Burk Parsons & Iain H. Murray...

In celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of John Calvin's birth (2009), Burk Parsons, editor of Tabletalk magazine and associate minister at St. Andrew's in Sanford, Fla., has brought together an impressive group of pastors and scholars to reconsider Calvin's life and legacy. Contributors include Jay Adams, Eric Alexander Thabiti Anyabwile, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, D. G. Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith Mathison, Richard Phillips, Harry Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek Thomas, Thomas Ascol, and others. In twenty succinct chapters, these men examine Calvin the man; his work (as a Reformer, a churchman, a preacher, a counselor, and a writer); and his teachings (on subjects as diverse as the Holy Spirit and prayer). What emerges is a multifaceted portrait of a man whose contributions to Christian thought and Christian living were significant indeed, a man whose life, work, and teachings are worthy to be remembered and studied even in the twenty-first century.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Reformation Trust Publishing
Pages   246
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.3" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2008
Publisher   Reformation Trust Publishing
ISBN  1567691064  
ISBN13  9781567691061  

Availability  0 units.

More About Burk Parsons & Iain H. Murray

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Author list: Jay E. Adams, Eric J. Alexander, Thabiti Anyabwile, Thomas K Ascol, Joel R. Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair B. Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, D.G. Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven J. Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith A. Mathison, Burk Parsons, Richard D. Phillips, Harry L. Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W.H. Thomas.Editor bio: Rev. Burk Parsons serves as minister of congregational life at Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and is the editor of Tabletalk, the monthly Bible-study magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He holds a degree in biblical studies from Trinity College and the M.Di. from Reformed Theological Seminary. Rev. Parsons is also editor of the book Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God's Grace."

Burk Parsons has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Basics of the Faith

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Reviews - What do customers think about John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, Doxology?

Calvin, Biblical understanding, Pastor, Scholar, and Teacher  Jan 12, 2010
John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology edited by Burk Parsons.

Those looking for biography of John Calvin sympathetic to the inerrancy of the Bible and a clear understanding how this reformer of the Christian Faith wrote, taught, and lead his flock in the teaching of scripture. This book is written with 19 contributors and does not include many of the small facts that tell the story of a person's life or life's journey with God. The first eight contributions tell of Calvin's journey to a knowing faith, to the Reformation theology, how God led him to his ministry and his relationship with the Church and community in Geneva Switzerland.

1. The Humanity of Calvin's Calvinism ........Burk Parsons
2. Who Was John Calvin......................Derek W.H. Thomas
3. Calvin's Heart For God...................Sinclair B. Ferguson
4. The Reformer of Faith and Life...........D.G. Hart
5. The Churchman of the Reformer............Harry L. Reeder
6. The Preacher of God's Word...............Steven J. Lawson
7. The Counselor of the Afflicted...........W. Robert Godfrey
8. The Writer For The People Of God ......Phillip R. Johnson

The next eleven contributions are development of the teaching of John Calvin through his preaching and his writings. I strongly recommend an individual seek out to read portions of Calvin's Christian Institutes and his commentaries on scripture. I do not think many will choose to read the Christian Institutes in one month, but through piece meal in a matter of years. It is this reason I think this book is a more efficient toll in providing the reader a quick and accurate understanding of what Calvin taught. This book is an easier read then the book titled after Darkness, Light edited by R.C. Sproul Jr.: which is another book written by contributors teaching Reform theology. I would not say this book edited by Parsons is not an easier read then Christian Institutes or commentary by John Calvin. These are the titles and contributions about Calvin's theology.

9. The Supremacy of Jesus Christ...................Eric J. Alexander
10. The Transforming Work of the Spirit...........Thatabi Anyabwile
11. Man's Radical Corruption.......................John MacArthur
12. Election and Reprobation.......................Richard D. Phillips
13. REDEMPTION DEFINED.............................Thomas K. Ascol
14. Transforming Grace..............................Keith A. Mathison
15. A Certain Inheritance...........................Jay E. Adams
16. The Believer's Union with Christ................Philip Graham Ryken
17. The Principle Articles of Salvation.............Michael Horton
18. The Christian Life..............................Jerry Bridges
19. The Communion of Men with God...................Joel R. Beeke
On John Calvin's 500th Birthday  Aug 29, 2009
Those who contributed to this volume have done an outstanding job of commemorating the great Reformer by getting to the heart of the many aspects of his multi-talented life. John Calvin had a great influence during his lifetime. Now, 500 years later, he is read, studied, and appreciated by increasing numbers of people. They will certainly want to read this book.
John Calvin for our generation  Aug 28, 2009
This year marks the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth. This book introduces a new generation to Calvin. As stated in the forward: this best purpose of the book will be served if readers of this book will want to read Calvin himself.
Each chapter is written by a different author and the list is like a "who's who" of the Reformed branch of Christianity. Due to the variety of authors, the reader will note some repetition and overlap of topics that could have been eliminated with better editing.
Burk Parsons begins by revealing that it was his studying of the Word of God that convinced him that Calvin's theology was the correct interpretation of Scripture. Derek Thomas next gives the reader a short biography of Calvin. Sinclair Ferguson reminds us of Calvin's heart for God with his life a marriage of learning and piety.
D. G. Hart addresses Calvin's role as Reformer and encourager of Protestants in various countries. Harry Reeder notes how Calvin restored the role of church leadership with the offices of pastor, teacher, elder and deacon. Steven Lawson says Calvin was the most prolific of all the Reformers, systematically preaching through books of the Bible.
W. Robert Godfrey emphasizes Calvin in the pastoral role, comforting and admonishing based on the sovereignty of God. Phillip R. Johnson claims that Calvin's writings, such as the Institutes (published when Calvin was only 27 years old), has secured him a place in history. Eric J. Alexander reminds us that Christocentric is the one word description of Calvin's theology, preaching and thinking. Thabiti Anyabwile shows us Calvin understood the working of the Holy Spirit in salvation and in the union of Christ and the believer.
John MacArthur explains the first of the "five points of Calvinism," total depravity. Richard Phillips brings light to the second point, predestination. Thomas K. Ascol defines redemption, recognizing the serious nature of sin. Keith Mathison explains the Remonstrance (opposing the teaching of Calvin) with the Canons of Dort answering the five points. He also gives a good summary of the doctrine of irresistible grace. Jay Adams rounds out the points of Calvinism with an explanation of the perseverance of the saints.
Philip Graham Ryken addresses Calvin's doctrine of union with Christ where, through the Holy Spirit and by faith, we receive Christ and all His benefits. Michael Horton clarifies Calvin's teaching on salvation and what union with Christ really means. Jerry Bridges explains how Calvin's theology is worked out in everyday in holiness through self-denial, cross-bearing and hopefulness. Joel Beeke ends the collection with a description of Calvin's teaching on prayer as a holy and familiar conversation with God.
Calvin has received a lot of bad press over the centuries. If you would like to read what Calvin really wrote, what he really preached and how he really addressed his pastoral roles, this book is for you. As a Calvinist myself, I am glad to see such a readable and understandable book presenting Calvin to our generation.
John Calvin  Aug 17, 2009
I learned so much about John Calvin from this book, it is such a great read. This book reveals aspects about John Calvin that most people don't know and shows his heart for the Lord and for ministry. The collection of authors who wrote the chapters in the book is quite impressive and it is what makes it such a great book. Not only does the book contain biographical information about Calvin but it also shows his work as a pastor, teacher, husband and friend. Certainly this book contains theology but it also reveals the heart in the man behind the theologian.
The Life, Ministry and Teachings of This Influential Reformer  Jul 4, 2009
John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology examines Calvin's life, ministry, and teachings in nineteen chapters, each written by a different well-known pastor, teacher, or theologian. Besides Burk Parsons' preface and first chapter and Iain Murray's foreward, there are chapters written by Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Joel Beeke, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, Phil Johnson, and many more notable Reformedish Christian leaders.

The first eight chapters are primarily about Calvin the man. There is a chapter which contains a brief biographical sketch and chapters on the various mantles Calvin wore in his service to God: Reformer, churchman, preacher, counselor, and writer. Taken together, the picture we see is of a man of many gifts, all used in service to God.

The seventh chapter,"The Counselor to the Afflicted" by W. Robert Godfrey, includes excerpts from Calvin's extensive pastoral correspondence which show his tenderhearted care for people who were suffering. To a father who had lost his son, he wrote:

"When I first received the intelligence of the death ... of your son Louis, I was so utterly overpowered that for many days I was fit for nothing but to grieve; and albeit I was somehow upheld before the Lord by those aids wherewith he sustains our souls in affliction among men, however, I was almost a nonentity."

Not exactly the stone-cold ivory-towered theologian of the common Calvin caricature, is he?

The rest of the chapters--ten of them--are essays on the teaching of Calvin on doctrines that he emphasized, starting with one on the supremacy of Jesus Christ and another on the work of the Spirit. Then there are five chapters that correspond, roughly, to what are known as the five points of Calvinism: "Man's Radical Corruption"; "Election and Reprobation", "Redemption Defined", "Transforming Grace", and "A Certain Inheritance". Finishing up are chapters that present Calvin's thoughts on union with Christ, justification, the christian life, and prayer.

The last chapter, "The Communion of Men with God" by Joel Beeke, which looks at Calvin's thoughts on prayer, was my favorite, I think, because it was what I needed to read right now. Calvin, Beeke writes,

"considered prayer to be holy and familiar conversations with God, our heavenly Father; reverently speaking, it is family conversation, or even intimate covenantal conversation, in which the believer confides to God as a child confides in his father. Prayer is 'an emotion of the heart within, which is poured out and laid open before God.' In prayer, we both communicate and commune with our Father in heaven, feeling our transparency in His presence. Like Christ in Gethsemane, we cast our 'desires, sighs, anxieties, fears, hopes, and joys into the lap of God.' In other words, through prayer, a Christian puts his 'worries bit by bit on God.'"

The image of taking my worries "bit by bit" (Most of our worries are, in the scheme of things, small, you know.) and placing them in "the lap of God" has helped me in a present struggle with praying.

Books that are collections of essays by different authors are often repetitive because the chapters are stand-alone essays on similar subjects. While there is a little repetition in John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine and Doxology, it is kept to a minimum because each author was given a different piece of Calvin's life or teachings to write on. The writing style does change from chapter to chapter as the authors change, something that can be seen in the variation of the numbers of footnotes for the individual essays. Jay Adam's chapter on perseverance, for example, has only eleven footnotes, while Joel Beeke's on prayer has 116. Yet, since there is a progression in the subjects of the chapters, this collection of essays reads as a unified whole.

I'd say this book is intended for the ordinary Christian reader, one who might not know much about John Calvin, but is interested in learning more about this Reformer who has influenced so much Christian thought and so many Christian leaders since the Reformation. It was a satisfying read and I recommend it to you.

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