07 July 2010

A Review of "THE HUMANNESS OF JOHN CALVIN: The Reformer as Husband, Father, Pastor and Friend"

John Calvin has been often been misrepresented as a cold, hard, unfeeling, detached man and responsible for the death of Michael Servetus. Nothing could be further from the truth and Richard Stauffer’s, The Humanness of John Calvin, The Reformer as Husband, Father, Pastor and Friend, dispels any ideas of these distortions be true. Not a new work, published in 1971, it is worth another look however as Calvin’s life is back in the limelight with the anniversary of his birthday last year. The author, Richard Stauffer, (1921-1984), was an outstanding Reformation historian in his own right and his exquisite knowledge of the time period is revealed within this 96 page tome.

Stauffer threads his way through the highlights of Reformer’s life and reveals intimate details, most through detailed knowledge of his letters, about Calvin the man; about his humanness. Dispelling many if not all of the unfair and inaccurate characterizations of the Reformer, we read of the kind, loving, deep feeling man that he was. For those who have been indoctrinated with the lies about Calvin, this book is for you. For those who want to know more about the man behind the theology, this book is also for you. I highly recommend it. It could be a first step to a greater understanding of Calvinism.

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