Reading Calvin

ncd01583Now-a-days I get more time for reading—but nowhere near enough! I have been reading a bit of Calvin again, just to enjoy his application of expositions to contemporary (his day) issues. It’s interesting, though he was a bit prolix in what he said; and could allow himself to get on another path, to note the way on which he believed that the Scriptures were written not merely as a record, but as help and counsel for all generations, no matter how long the church remains on earth.

Unlike some today, Calvin knew, that sinful human nature doesn’t really change. That we make for ourselves the same old problems in homes, at work, and in church—to mention but a few areas.

So, he wrote for all times—assuming that the biblical writers had them in mind. You’ll even catch him, at times, saying such things as “Now Paul says to us . . .” meaning that his Spirit-inspired words were being composed for the church of all ages—including ours.

Now, there is not only a dearth of exposition behind many contemporary sermons, but also a strong antipathy in some circles to apply anything. What a shame. How much good it would do those who have such tendencies to read Calvin with what I am saying in mind—not only his sermons, where this practice is more evident, but (surprisingly) in his commentaries as well.

Well, back to the place where I last stuck a gel marking pen in the last volume of Calvin that I haven’t completed during this re-reading marathon I have engaged in. I’d read a lot more, but the old eyes get sore and I have to do things like write blogs instead. Of course, eyes can get blurry from computer work as well, but shifting back and forth helps both problems a good deal.

I haven’t looked lately, and don’t intend to get up now to do so, but Calvin goes into this view of his in some depth in the early couple of sermons either in Galatians or Ephesians. If you’re interested, wouldn’t hurt you to read all four of those sermons anyway.

Oh, by the way—these are in old English letters, as I remember—so don’t let the “s” (which often look like an “f”) throw you. And, as a matter of fact, it’s a challenge to read and interpret the English translation. But the point I’m making is as clear as can be. You won’t have any trouble seeing that “fs/ss” and all—Calvin wrote for you and me (as well as for the church of all time).

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