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Anonymous 16th century portrait of Calvin/Bibliothèque de Genève

Calvin cornucopia

Books | Recent books regarding John Calvin

Issue: "Save the unions," Oct. 24, 2009

P&R last year published two notable works in anticipation of this year's celebration of Calvin's 500th birthday: David Hall's The Legacy of John Calvin and an edited volume, Theological Guide to Calvin's Institutes, that includes essays by Douglas Kelly, Michael Horton, William Edgar, Robert Godfrey, and others. The series continued this year with Hall's Calvin in the Public Square, which summarizes the theologian's thoughts on government and the movement of those ideas, via John Knox, Samuel Rutherford, and many others, to America's founders.

This year's list also includes Hall and Matthew D. Burton's Calvin and Commerce: The Transforming Power of Calvinism in Market Economics, which summarizes Calvin's economic thought and ingeniously concludes with five points: Differences in income aren't bad, God made us to work and create, accountability and incentives (such as wages) can counteract some effects of sin, personal freedom helps businesses to thrive, profits allow us to provide for those in need.

A new novel from P&R, Douglas Bond's The Betrayal, dramatically tells the story of Calvin, who speaks more like a computer than a human being: Normally that would be a defect, but that just may be the way Calvin's brain worked. And other publishers this year have joined in: Bruce Gordon's Calvin (Yale Univ. Press, 2009) is a solid scholarly biography, and Joel R. Beeke's Living for God's Glory (Reformation Trust, 2008) lays out Calvinism's central doctrines.

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And Calvin would have appreciated Alister McGrath in Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth (HarperOne, 2009), which explains why Christians should not shirk from using that term to protect sound doctrine.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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