Old dead dudes are important to read. John Calvin, Augustine, Francis Schaffer and Martin Luther are probably the 4 old dead dudes I like to read most. The reason I like to read these men so much is that after reading them I love Jesus more and am usually overwhelmed by the Glory of God.
Calvin turns 500 today. The name John Calvin make some cringe, and others gloat. For me I can at times sadly find myself doing both. I am a Calvinist, I do hold to the 5 points of Calvinism (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Irresistible Grace, Limited Atonement and Perseverance of the Saints), but that is not what I enjoy most about John Calvin (who did not come up with the 5 points). I also believe that the more understanding one has of the 5 points, the more humility will come.
I enjoy talking about Calvin's vision of God, a BIG, HUGE vision that I want to have. No other commentaries I have read bring me to my knees in worship like Calvin's.
Young Adults need to read John Calvin. He is hard to read. You will wrestle with the text, he will challenge your worldview and philosophies, especially if you have grown up in American Christianity. Calvin will make you think less about your story and more about God's. Calvin will challenge you to do things that require risk for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Calvin will challenge your view of what it means to be missional (yes Calvinists do missions, we in fact love missions, e.g. William Carey).
I encourage you to dive into the Institutes of Christian Religion, yes they sound boring, but they are far, far from it!
Calvin and Luther more than anyone else are men who THOUGHT deeply in order to FEEL deeply.
Some do say that too much is made of John Calvin, to that I will let the fellas of Desiring God Answer that:
Today the same fellas over at DG are offering the biography of Calvin for $2, reading about Calvin could be a good first step too!
As we've begun talking about John Calvin more over the last months, we've gotten several responses from folks who are concerned that we're focusing on a man at the expense of focusing on God. We appreciate this sentiment and want to be careful to not let that be the case.
Yes, we're focusing on Calvin a lot this year in commemoration of his 500th birthday, but it's not for the sake of Calvin. Being a Christian doesn't mean ignoring everything but God; it means celebrating God and each of his good gifts—whether it's a meal, a family, or a 500-year-old reformer.If we tried to listen to God or admire God at the expense of listening to or admiring what he's given us, then we would miss out on much of what God has for us. We should be deeply thankful for what God has given us, and that means we're going to think about these gifts and talk about them.