John Calvin: For a New Reformation
Derek Thomas and John Tweedale (eds)
This seems like the sort of book that should have come out for the Calvin 500 commemorations back in 2009, but better late that never! It has chapters by 20 different contributors, and of particular interest to Reformed Presbyterians will be Edward Donnelly’s chapter about Calvin’s teaching the Christian Life. Other highlights include ‘Calvin the Pastor’ by David Calhoun and ‘The Law of God’ by Guy Waters. As someone who is usually a fan of John Fesko’s writing, I was looking forward to his chapter on ‘Creation and Humanity’. Two thirds of the chapter is great, but then he starts talking about Calvin’s view of the law (even though there is a separate chapter on the law), ignores the threefold division where it would be helpful, and claims Calvin as a proponent of modern so-called Reformed Two-Kingdoms (R2K) teaching. Unaware that Fesko was a two kingdoms advocate, I googled ‘Fesko two kingdoms’ and found a review by Robert Letham of an earlier book on his own denomination’s website (OPC), saying ‘Fesko smuggles in the currently popular two-kingdom idea’.
Apart from that frustration, I enjoyed what I read of the (600-page) book. It is a great resource when wanting to check Calvin’s teaching on something, as it references his commentaries, sermons and other writings as well as just the Institutes.
Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.