- John Calvin: Comeback Kid
Why the 500-year-old Reformer retains an enthusiastic following today.
- The Reluctant Reformer
Calvin would have preferred the library carrel to the pulpit.
- Calvin’s Biggest Mistake
Why he assented to the execution of Michael Servetus.
(Via Christianity Today)
Bonus: John Calvin on Marriage
When John Calvin was looking for a wife, he told his friends and associates his criteria: “This only is the beauty that allures me: if she is chaste, if not too fussy or fastidious, if economical, if patient, if there is hope that she will be interested about my health.” His wife Idelette died after only nine years of marriage, when he was 40 years old, and he called her “my life’s best companion.” He never remarried.
Second Bonus: Dr. Timothy George’s top 5 books on Reformation Studies, including:
Here I Stand
Roland H. Bainton
This book was first published in 1950, the year I was born. I first read it as an undergraduate, and it hooked me on the Reformation. Here I Stand tells the story of Luther as it has never been told before or since. Doctor Martinus almost steps off every page, a real human being beset by guilt but saved by grace. The woodcuts Bainton included in this book are a visual feast of Reformation iconography.
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The Radical Reformation
George Huntston Williams
Williams argued that the Radical Reformation deserved scholarly attention in its own right, not merely as a reactionary “left wing” to other movements. This book traces the interconnections among a multitude of radical reformers, all of whom challenged the ecclesial and political structures of their time in their quest for an authentic Christianity. Williams himself coined the term “Radical Reformation” and provided a typology for understanding this amorphous movement. The Radical Reformation, he argues, consisted of three major thrusts: Evangelical Anabaptists, Spiritualists, and Evangelical Rationalists. These are not meant to be hard and fast categories but a way to understand essential themes and common patterns among the religious dissenters who stood on the margins of the official churches of the 16th century. This is a book filled with theological insight as well as massive historical detail.
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The Elizabethan Puritan Movement
This book was first published in 1967 and helped to define the entire field of Puritan studies. Collinson interprets the Puritans in terms of their own self-understanding and burning desire for a “further reformation.” A model of historical research based on extensive use of primary sources.