The Mystery of Godliness
I am taking some time to read through a collection of sermons by John Calvin in the book The Mystery of Godliness. Reading Calvin's sermons really gives me an insight into how Calvin preached and viewed the Christian life. It is quite refreshing. As I read, more and more I realize he was a tender-hearted pastor and theologian who was genuinely seeking to live a holy life before a holy God. So many of the criticisms leveled against Calvin are simply ignorant, mainly because folks simply don't take the time to actually read what he wrote. Calvin preached and wrote more about theology proper, the Christian life, and personal holiness than he did about predestination and election, yet P&E is what critics associate Calvin with the most. I bet if more Calvinists (me included) would read Calvin more often and take heed to what he was trying to say in regards to living a holy life before a holy God, we would probably save some face in many debates. On the other side of the coin, if more Arminians and other Calvin critics would actually take the time to read Calvin, and then reason from his writings to a possibly legitimate dispute, I would respect them more. But since most just like to bring up the Servetus fiasco ad nauseum, a real dialog will never take place.