Monday, September 21, 2009

John Calvin: his relevance for today

Here is an excerpt from my paper on Calvin for the Bristol & Clifton Protestant League at Buckingham Chapel, Bristol on Saturday 26th September, 2.30pm.
I hope it will become more than evident in the couse of this address that John Calvin and what he stood for is relevant for us today. But there is always a danger in trying to make a figure in history ‘relevant’ to present day issues. After all Calvin was born half a millennium ago. His concerns as a man of the sixteenth century are not necessarily the pressing concerns of today’s church. We must be careful not to make Calvin an artificial debating partner in 21st century arguments. Would Calvin have had a telly? What might he have thought about the Credit Crunch? What may be Calvin’s take on the implications of Globalisation for the mission of the church? Who knows? I certainly don’t. But the great thing about Calvin is that he transcends his own time because his life and thought were radically shaped by the living and active Word of God. He was not often sidetracked from the big and central themes of biblical revelation. If Calvin has relevance for us today it is because his teaching brings us back to what the Holy Spirit is saying in Scripture.


Phillip said...

Will you make available the entire paper?
Hope so.

Guy Davies said...

No plans to post it on the blog, Rusty. Some of it has already seen the light of day here in my Calvin 500 series back in the summer. Click on the 'John Calvin' label at the foot of the post and scroll down a bit.

If you'd like to see the paper, which includes new material, you'll have to drop me an email and I'll send you a copy.

Reformation said...

Can you send one to me at

Or repost on the blog so it can be hiked far and wide?


Guy Davies said...


I'll send you a copy early next week. It's still a work in progress. Some of the material was published earlier as a rough guide to Calvin's theology, split up into a series of posts,

Anonymous said...