On this day 500 years ago John Calvin was born.

There is perhaps no one in church history who has had a deeper impact on my thinking when it comes to my great sin and God’s great salvation than John Calvin. My friend Kevin wrote this today and I think he’s right on:

Whatever lasting impact John Calvin has had on the church of Jesus Christ, and on the whole world for that matter, is owing to his commitment to understanding and explaining the word of God. From sermons to lectures to letters to tracts to treatises to confessions to catechisms to books, his adult life was consumed with one thing: the word of God–the word as a summons to obedience, the word as a blueprint for reform, the word as the foundation for all truth.

Amen.

I know that Calvin has been a controversial figure throughout church history which is why I think this message from Frank James (former President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and a first rate historian) is so helpful. In this 1 hour and 45 minute seminar he deals with many popular misconceptions about John Calvin. He shows that, far from being a theological tyrant, Calvin was wholeheartedly committed to reaching the lost and planting churches. In fact, apart from the apostle Paul, Calvin was arguably the most successful church planter in history.

Dr. James’ message is easy to understand and well researched. Anybody who cares about church planting and evangelism will find this seminar stimulating and motivating.

Also, this article from Bob Godfrey (President of Westminster Seminary in California) entitled Calvin: Why He Still Matters is both informative and inspirational.

My hope and prayer is that you will grow in your appreciation for John Calvin and the way he spent his life pointing others to the majesty of God as he is revealed in his Word by his Spirit.

I am thanking God today for John Calvin.