John Calvin as Teacher, Pastor, and Theologian
I wanted to suggest a book to you that I picked and read last fall. John Calvin as Teacher, Pastor, and Theologian. I came back recently and read the last chapter Jesus Christ as the Living Image of God. I was reminded on how good this book was. The book is split into two parts: Part 1 – Calvin as Teacher and Pastor and Part 2 – Calvin as Theologian.
One of my favorite things of this book is that it displays Calvin’s intimate friendship with Philip Melanchthon and Melanchthon’s influence on Calvin’s teaching, Scripture reading, and pastoring. Zachman, the author, also does a wonderful job showing Calvin’s exegetical method. This was great seeing how Calvin saw all of Scripture and how he saw God revealing himself in Scripture. This was a way into the mind that largely shaped the Reformed view of Scripture. Zachman uses Calvin’s sermons on Ephesians as a model of how he applied his exegetical method to preaching.
The second part of the book, Calvin as Theologian shows just how big and glorious Calvin saw the God of the Bible. Zachman does this primarily through developing Calvin’s theology of image and word. In other words, Calvin thought the universe was a living image of God, displaying his power, goodness, beauty, and wisdom. Christ, himself (the Word), because of the poverty of man’s sin – distorting the image of God in man, came as the image of the invisible God, to be the redemptive image of God. With these things in mind, the Lord’s Supper, revelation, inspiration, Scripture, the Sabbath, and various other disciplines of theology are developed.
I would highly recommend this book to those interested in Calvin’s influences, thought, theology, and practice as a pastor.