John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God

At a time when Christian worship may often seem to be superficial and the personal pronoun dominates the scene, this John Piper book shifts the balance back to the holiness and sovereignty of God. John Piper is rightly a popular author, pastor and preacher who can grip the reader by a ‘profound simplicity’. He writes for the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin to reclaim for today the passion of the Geneva reformer for the glory and majesty of the Sovereign Lord. It is said that ‘if Luther sounded the trumpet for the Reformation, Calvin orchestrated the score by which the Reformation became a part of Western civilisation’. John Piper records the dominant notes in the score. Here are some of his insights:

This valuable book is a blending of biography and theology. It tells of Calvin’s conversion, his marriage, his sufferings and his constancy in expounding the divine majesty in the Scriptures. His ministry was God honouring by being Christ-centred and inspired by the eternal Spirit. The Piper perspective on Calvin will help to introduce the life of the Geneva Reformer to those who have hitherto only looked at the Reformation through Wesleyan lenses. It will also be an inspiration to those who are keen to light the flame of sacred love for a God of supreme authority and majesty.“Nothing matters more to Calvin than the supremacy of God over all things.” “Where the centre shifts from God, everything begins to shift everywhere…” “What does the Spirit do? The answer is not that the Spirit gives us added revelation to what is in Scripture, but awakens us … to see and taste the divine reality in Scripture, which authenticates it as God’s own word.”

I commend the book to thoughtful readers. It could serve as a wake up call to those who may be slipping into shallow worship. It could have been improved with an index.