Calvin’s Institutes

2009 was the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. Who is John Calvin I hear you ask? Well he is one of the most influential theologians of the protestant faith. I decided to read and blog my way through his “Institutes of the Christian Religion” (known more commonly as Calvin’s Institutes) during that year…a huge challenge as it runs to four books and over 1000 pages. I wanted to examine the roots of historic Christianity for myself, rather than simply inherit other people’s views.

I managed to complete the challenge and have listed all my posts on the various chapters below…these articles can also be found under the various themes on the index on the right hand side of the blog. My posts are arranged below by Book and Chapter, you can also access a list of Calvin resources here.

institutesBook 1 – The Knowledge of God and Ourselves

– Piety and the Knowledge of God (1 – 5)

Chapter 1: God knows you better than you know yourself

Chapter 2: Knowledge of God as Creator

Chapter 3: Can man live without God?

Chapter 4: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Chapter 5: Every contact leaves a traceThe mystery of providence

– Scripture (6 – 10)

Chapter 6: Knowledge of God through obedience to the Word

Chapter 7: The secret testimony of the Spirit

Chapter 8: An argument for the credibility of scripture

Chapter 9: Word and Spirit in harmony

Chapter 10: The relational God

– Recognising the true God (11 & 12)

Chapter 11: Images of the invisible God

Chapter 12: You gotta serve somebody

– The Triune God revealed in creation & Scripture (13 & 14)

Chapter 13: The Triune God, part 1 and The Triune God, part 2

Chapter 14: No one believes in me anymore

– Human nature before the fall (15)

Chapter 15: Look at what you could’ve been

– God’s Providence (16-18)

Chapter 16: The secret impulse of God

Chapter 17: A truth for all seasons

Chapter 18: A straight line with a crooked stick

Book 2 – The Knowledge of God as Redeemer

– Sin (1 – 5)

Chapter 1: The day we all died

Chapter 2: Free to do what you love

Chapter 3: Nothing in my hand I bring

Chapter 4: The law of unintended consequences

Chapter 5: Faith acquires what the law requires

– Gospel & law (6 – 11)

Chapter 6: One man to reverse the curse

Chapter 7: Don’t stop buying the flowers

Chapter 8: “I am not a liar

Chapter 9: The shadow and the substance

Chapter 10: One faith; Two testaments; No prosperity gospel

Chapter 11: From fading glory to surpassing glory

– Christology (12-17)

Chapter 12: What if God was one of us?

Chapter 13: And the Word became flesh

Chapter 14: Two natures, distinct but united

Chapter 15: The heavenly King and the earthly Church

Chapter 16: The curse of the cross

Chapter 17: The merit of Christ’s death

Book 3 – The way in which we receive the Grace of Christ, what benefits come to us from it and what effects follow

Chapter 1: Drink me!

Chapter 2: Faith – the final frontier

Chapter 3: Sorry, is all that you can’t say

Chapter 4: Real forgiveness, no strings attached

Chapter 5: A tariff on forgiveness

Chapter 6: No ordinary life

Chapter 7: No other will

Chapter 8: Our willful, joyful, costly submission

Chapter 9: A couple of billion heartbeats later

Chapter 10: Because you’re worth it

Chapter 11: Under the robe

Chapter 12: “We must have complete transparency

Chapter 13: There is no “we” in glory

Chapter 14: Taking the red pill

Chapter 15: 10/10 for effort

Chapter 16: There is no such thing as safe grace

Chapter 17: Don’t forget to count your laps

Chapter 18: The whispered promises of a betrothed groom

Chapter 19: When dad lets go of the bike

Chapter 20: Read less, pray more

Chapter 21: How to adore the silence of God

Chapter 22: The Good, the Bad and the Elect

Chapter 23: Where angels fear to tread

Chapter 24: He loves me, he loves me not…

Chapter 25: Away beyond the blue

Book 4 – Of the Holy Catholic Church

Chapter 1: A diamond in the dust

Chapter 2: Rage against the machine

Chapter 3: What a piece of work is a man

Chapter 4: The Wonder Years

Chapter 5: I was there the day the strength of Men failed

Chapter 6: But some are more equal than others

Chapter 7: There was a dream that was Rome

Chapter 8: Rebecca we’ve found your Dad

Chapter 9: Ultim Scriptura

I used a daily reading plan provided by J R Harris. I also used the Beveridge edition, I know there are a number of translations but this is the one I had had on my shelf for 10+ years! An online edition can be accessed here.

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