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John Calvin: A Biography

Lion 2007 edition

Parker’s biography of John Calvin originally published in 1975 has been brought into print again in 2007 as a soft cover volume. This new edition contains no major changes from the original carrying Parker’s excellent survey of the events surrounding Calvin’s life.

John Calvin: A Biography reveals many insights into the life of this French scholar, preacher and pastor who has had such an impact on not only the theology of the last 500 years but many consider on Western civilisation as well.

For those interested in history this book provides great insights into the religious and political intrigues of the early to middle sixteenth century in which Calvin found himself embroiled.

For those interested in biographies of historical figures who shaped the church we find in Calvin a devotee of the Scriptures as containing God’s Word, a preacher committed to daily exposition of scripture, and a liturgical reformer who introduced the singing of metrical Psalms in the vernacular and who argued for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper whenever the church assembled.

One criticism of the book could be that Parker does not seem to have attempted to use more inclusive language but if readers can see past this issue to heart of the story of Calvin’s life there is much to be gained in entering into Calvin’s life and the time of turmoil in which he lived.

Reviewed by Peter Lockhart  minister with the Clayfield and Hamilton congregations in Brisbane