on 2 October 2011
Derek Thomas begins his answer to the question, `Who was John Calvin?' with the words "theologian, pastor, preacher, correspondent, churchman, statesman--John Calvin was all of these and more. Proverbially, he was more than just the sum of his parts. Five hundred years later, he is still read, argued over, defended, even vilified. For some, his commentaries form the touchstone by which others are judged. For others, he remains "the unopposed dictator of Geneva." Steven Lawson describes Calvin as "...many things--a world-class theologian, a revered exegete, a renowned teacher, an ecclesiastical statesman, an influential Reformer, and more."
There-in lies the problem, and here, in this book, lies the answer. If you are looking for a comprehensive analysis of Calvin, the man, his theology and his ministry, then this is the book for you. A brilliant lineup of twenty gifted preachers and teachers each tackle a different facet of this multi-faceted and usually misunderstood man.
I've discovered how hard it is to review a book with twenty different authors, but the cumulative result is a thorough setting of the political and religious context in which Calvin operated, an appraisal of the weaknesses and strengths of the man himself and the impact and importance of his prodigous output, both in spoken and written words. inevitably in a book of this sort some sections will speak to the reader more forecfully than others, but again the value of it lies in the collective impact of the individual insights and coments.
I would strongly recommend it as the next bext thing to a biography of the man himself.
For the purpose of review, I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.