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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 25 March 2017
Tough reading but worthwhile if you are serious about underrstanding John Calvin's theology, rather than grasping the half-baked and fanciful notions of commentators as to what Calvin himself really meant. So many pseudo-Calvinists are out there with an utterly imbalanced and unfair, even inacxcurate, analysis of Calvin's key themes: the five "Sola's" and predestination being just two areas where modern "Calvinists" stray wide of the mark.
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on 9 May 2016
it's the Beveridge edition from the 19th century, but but font is clearer than my old James Clarke copy.
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on 30 December 2014
Helpful for research & study
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on 5 August 2015
Thorough exposition of the Biblical doctrines of God and His purposes for mankind.
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on 19 June 2017
Met my expectations.
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on 29 July 2011
The treatise
Of all I have read from past to present, there is nothing so motivating, inspiring and spiritually uplifting as this massive work. It is the best work I have ever read, except the scriptures themselves. It is difficult, as you need to be focused and alert when you are reading, but the rewards are immediate and stay with you for the long-term.
This large piece of work is the total justification of the system of faith set out in the scripture, and the arguments and discussion are real faith builders and securers. Every point and explanation is backed up with scripture references, and addressed clearly and precisely.
It may seem daunting, but you can take as long as you like and do as little as you like, and the fruit will be a deeper understanding of Who God is and his loving purposes for his people, and human beings generally. It may well take years, as we need to work and look after our families etc, but if treated it as a very long-term read, we will reap the rewards.
We will never understand God, or his word, but to follow the mind and logic of the master theologian, will surely aid in our own spiritual understanding. When you read the bible for yourself, it will seem clearer and your thought processes will be better equipped to interpret the word of God in a way that holds it all together.
You could annotate as you read; post it notes with jottings; records on paper of your thoughts as you go along; words of hymns that seem to match the readings; highlight with markers bits that seem to pop out at you.... it becomes your own work as you relate to the words of Calvin and apply them to your self.
Buy the whole piece of work, rather than the abridged versions. You will not be disappointed...
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on 30 August 2009
This work of theological genius is a text which has influenced Western civilisation for nearly five centuries. It started as the work of a young French refugee, only in his twenties and resident in Geneva. It does not read like other systematic theologies for it is heartwarmingly devotional. It is felt faith explained and defended. The detractors of Calvin are usually lacking in personal contact with his works. Ignorant prejudice against this Marmite reformer will be reduced by acquaintance with this his magnum opus. This modern edition is far more readable than earlier translations.
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on 16 July 2013
Having heard many times in my Christian life "Calvin explains.." or "Calvin puts it this way" I decided to down load his books and read for myself. The surprise was that they are easy to read - he has a wonderful way of explaining doctrine that I can understand. No wonder he is still read nearly 600 years later.
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on 18 August 2011
I think it's fantastic that Calvin's Institutes is available on the Kindle, and at such an affordable price. It's affordable for a reason, though. The formatting isn't horrendous but it is unhelpful and pretty unprofessional. No indents make it hard to read, and notes are not hyperlinked. Chapters do not start on new pages

It probably would be the work of solid month by the most devoted of HTML experts to make the e-version of Calvin that mankind requires, so this will just about do for now - but don't expect anything half as elegant or useful as will one day exist. The hardback is, incredibly, still easier to use (flicking back and forth is much quicker with paper than in a linkless eBook). A shame, as this is one of those hefty tomes that it would be marvellous to read on Kindle.

I would gladly pay up to £20 for a professionally designed and proofread version.
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on 25 October 2014
Note: This review concerns the Kindle edition of Calvin's Institutes published by the Christian Classic Ethereal Library.

I tried four different Kindle versions of Calvin's Institutes using Amazon's 'Try a Sample' feature.

The sample for this one had a proper Kindle Table of Contents, as well as the in-text linked TOC.

It was also formatted nicely - with different size texts for different size headings, and so on.

BUT: that is only in the sample. The actual version has none of those things, and is as poorly formatted as the £0.77 priced version. CCEL have done themselves a disservice.
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