Saturday, March 01, 2008


Calvin, a Guide for the Perplexed

Those who visit Helm's Deep may be interested in this short book, Calvin, A Guide for the Perplexed, (a nicely ambiguous title, don't you think?), to be published later this year by T & T Clark. It is intended to be an introduction to Calvin's theology, with (where appropriate) a philosophical flavour.

The Chapters are -

1. Orientation
2. The Knowledge of God and of Ourselves
3. God in Trinity
4. The Son
5. Grace and Faith
6. The Christian Life
7. The Church and Society
8. Calvin and Calvinism

With the agreement of the publisher I hope to post three or four shortish sections from a draft of the book between now and its publication. The first of these will appear next month. So Jonathan (Edwards) , a paper on whose views of the Trinity was previously announced, will have to wait in the queue until John (Calvin) has had his say.

This month, March, the second of three Analyses on views of divine sovereignty, 'Twisse's Twist', is published. The third, 'Owen's Option', will be published next month.

In addition, a paper celebrating the 50th birthday of J.I.Packer's 'Fundamentalism' and the Word of God is now posted.

Incidentally, if you have the need of a translation of the Institutes, then the reissue of the Beveridge translation (newly published by Hendrickson) may be just the thing. It has new indexes, and has been 'gently edited', which means, I hope, only the removal of typos and other detritus. (I have not yet had the chance to check). Beveridge is superior to Battles in sticking closer to the original Latin, and having less intrusive editorial paraphernalia.

'I have also consulted the older translations of the Institutes, namely those of Norton, Allen and Beveridge, in view of both the accuracy of those translation and the relationship in which they stand to the older or "precritical" text tradition of Calvin's original. Both in its apparatus and in its editorial approach to the text, the McNeill-Battles translation suffers from the mentality of the text-critic who hides the original ambience of the text even as he attempts to reveal all its secrets to the modern reader'. (Richard A. Muller, The Unaccommodated Calvin, (New York, Oxford University Press, 2000, Preface, ix)