Calvin’s Institutes Giveaway


In honor of the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin I have a copy of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion courtesy of Emily Kiefer at Westminster John Knox to give away to some fortunate reader! 

This is the two volume edition edited by John T. McNeill and translated by Ford Lewis Battles which was originally published by the Westminster Press in 1960 and was reissued by WJK in 2006.

So count it all joy that you, dear reader, have an opportunity to get your hands on this fantastic set!  See the conditions of the contest directly below to learn how to enter and win.

Requirements for entry:

  • You must be a US resident.
  • You must have a blog.
  • You must not already own this set.

Rules for the contest:

  • You must announce this contest on your blog and link back to this post.
  • In the comments to this post tell me in 50 words or less why you want to read Calvin.
  • In the event that you win you must acknowledge WJK and this blog in a post on your blog (providing links to both).

Failure to meet the above conditions will result in immediate disqualification (and I will be counting all the words in your comments: 51 = disqualified). 

The winner will be the one I think makes the best case for wanting to read Calvin and they will be announced on Sunday, February 15, 2009.



40 thoughts on “Calvin’s Institutes Giveaway

  1. In college I discovered Reformed theology via Sonship, and I felt like I’d finally heard the whole Gospel. Since Calvin is one of the guys responsible for this theology — and since some folks criticize and some idolize him — I think it would be profitable to read his own words.

  2. I want to read Calvin to confirm everything I already believe as being historic biblical Christianity as interpreted by the Councils of Dorchdt, having been discovered for the first time since Paul by Luther who got the idea from Augustine who didn’t really believe it because he was Catholic.

  3. I wonder how many 27 year-olds could write what Calvin wrote in the Institutes?

    Whether one agrees with Calvin or not, one is forced to recognise his immense intelectual ability and spiritual maturity.

    But perhaps I am biased ;-)

  4. Nathan: So far she has a 50/50 shot.

    Josh: I’m afraid that I’m keeping all the Arminius for myself!

    Richard: I don’t know, but I’m 27 and I think that this blog is at least comparable to the Institutes. :-P

  5. I just linked the contest on my blog to help spread the word. I’ve got too much backed up reading now, so this gal humbly won’t be submitting 50 words. :D

  6. Bitsy: I saw the announcement, thanks! And how nice of you to give others a chance at the prize. If you reconsider then you still have time to enter. :)

  7. I plan to read John Calvin’s Institutes because (1) I have not already read it, and (2) because it is the 500th Anniversary of Calvin. Also, (3) I am a student at Criswell, working on a M.Div. and (4) am told that Battles’ translation of Calvin is top notch.

  8. I don’t believe Calvinism is the most logical and understandable way of seeing Biblical truths. But God and Scripture don’t always fit our logic. Coming to Calvinism two years ago, I’ve read more on the internet (including misconceptions) about Calvinism than I have books and need to read Calvin himself.

  9. I’ve been listening to the PTS podcast, but I’d love a hard copy to read along and annotate. I plan to teach theology someday, so I need to understand Calvin extremely well. It’s also rich devotional content. I’ve not read the entire thing before, but I hope to in 2009!

  10. my measly 50 words:

    John Calvin is one of the single most influential theologians ever in the history of the church hands down. Whether one is a calvinist or not one can hardly discuss nary a theological topic and not note John Calvin. To be strong historically and theologically one simply must read Calvin.

  11. Sorry to not get back sooner but I`m moving house at present the reason I asked `Why` is a simple one I do not consider Calvin as a Catholic Christian his understanding of human nature is not one that follows the tradition of humanity as understood by the Tradition of the Church that is that humanity is still able to co-operate with grace . Humanity has not fully lost imago dei. This is why I would ask anyone why they should want to read Calvin a much more fruitful reading would be to read Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica which has not succommened to the heresy of nominalism that Calvin subscribes to fully.

  12. I want to read the Institutes to get a better handle on the history of interpretation and doctrine. To see why Calvin interpreted and developed his theology as he did. It would be great to know more about the history of the Church, including Calvin’s contribution to the Reformation.

  13. I desperately wanted this book for Christmas, but I was predestined not to receive it! Ever since I learned about this superior edition and found a plan to read through the Institutes in a year, I have been seeking a way to begin that process. This would help a lot!

  14. I want to read everything – which necessarily includes Calvin.

    I apologize for the belated entry, but I couldn’t come up with a clever enough response.

  15. How is it that Calvin, in his Book ” The Institutes of the Christian Religion” NEVER mentions…Rightly dividing the word of truth?

  16. If you are thinking that I am Armenian, and I want to argue with you, that is not the case.

    I would like to put something in perspective, the apostle Paul knew full well the five points of Calvinism, 1500 years before John Calvin did. John Calvin did not invent Calvinism. One of the things John Calvin did was to codify in writing, the doctrines of predestination. I hold to those doctrines.

    If anyone has the patients and scholarship to read John Calvin’s work, there are several things that may come as a surprise, such as what I have already mentioned about John Calvin never referencing “rightly dividing the word of truth”.

    Here is another thing; the doctrines of body-soul-spirit, there are two versions of the doctrine involving this, one is called the dichotomy, the other is the trichotomy (I am sure you know). I will not belabor the point of which is true (especially if the Catholic Church holds to the dichotomy). John Calvin believed dichotomy.

    There is also a fuss amongst people professing Christianity about the necessity of water baptism, John Calvin held to water baptism.

    Other than going on a discourse of what relatively small knowledge I have of the details of what John Calvin wrote, let me referred you to someone, and to a religious organization that holds themselves to be the “world’s foremost authority” on Calvinism and on “rightly dividing the word”.

    Google… “Maranatha Bible Society”… it is the first hit that comes up, they published a doctrinal statement, and in that doctrinal statement is their belief of Calvinism (but they make a qualification)

    In the contact portion of that website are several e-mail addresses… contact those people.

    If you tell them that I have referred you to them, they will drop dead.

    P.S. I do have a Blog. Google me…Allan Lewicki, its about the 4th hit that comes up.

  17. Allan: I was just joking in my response. And I didn’t assume you were Armenian. I assumed that you were Polish from your last name, but not Armenian (that was another joke). For the record, I am an Arminian, or at least I believe that the Arminians got it right when it comes to the doctrine of salvation.

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