Usefulness of the Calvin 500 collection for the non-scholar?

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Scott S | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 24 2010 9:15 PM

I'm interested in comments on how the Calvin 500 collection would be useful for the non-scholar who does not have any special interest in Calvin.  

For instance, is reading Calvin's works somewhat comparable to reading the Patristics? 

As a person aside, my interest in the Patristics is: (a) encouragement -- seeing how my faith parallels those in the ancient Church; (b) for apologetics - to refute Muslims, Mormons, JW's and others who falsely claim to restore the "true" doctrines of the early Church; (c) to follow historical developments in theology; (d) to see Christianity outside the 21st century.

How do others see making use of these Calvin resources?

Thanks in advance.

Scott

 

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 24 2010 9:27 PM

I am not a calvinist, nor do I agree with Calvin on a lot of things. With that said, I highly recommend his work. His focus is exegetical, historical and doctrinally based. Calvin closely followed Augustine, and commented very much on the church fathers. As with anyone, you must try to understand his presuppositions, understand the historical setting he was in. However to your question, Calvin is piece of history that cannot be missed. He is important to read along with the other church fathers Aquinas etc.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 24 2010 10:37 PM

Scot, read a bit of Calvin's Institutes to get a flavor of him. You probably already have it as it is included in most of the base packages. The whole Calvin 500 collection might be overkill for your level of interest, but you can get just Calvin's Commentaries and a stand-alone biography of him, and that would pretty much have you covered for Calvin in your library. Multiple different translations of the Institutes, all his letters, tracts, and treatises and multiple different biographies of him would probably only be of interest to the serious Calvin scholar. The Calvin 500 collection also includes the Calvin and the History of Calvinism collection, which discusses his theology, his influence, etc. Look through that and if you think any of it might be of interest to you, get that collection separately and you'll still save money over buying the entire Calvin 500 collection.

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Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2010 7:43 PM

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that all I need are the Calvin Commentaries and Institues, which I have.  (I am not a Calvinist, but I have benefited from his Commentaries, and I appreciate his insights.)  I have ordered the $24.95 update for the Commentaries.  I am doing this on faith the new editions are worth twenty-five bucks over the ones I have.

If I had the money for the Calvin 500, I would be more inclined to spend it for something like Luther's Works or the Ancient Christian Commentary.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2010 8:23 PM

Michael Childs:

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that all I need are the Calvin Commentaries and Institues, which I have.  (I am not a Calvinist, but I have benefited from his Commentaries, and I appreciate his insights.)  I have ordered the $24.95 update for the Commentaries.  I am doing this on faith the new editions are worth twenty-five bucks over the ones I have.

If I had the money for the Calvin 500, I would be more inclined to spend it for something like Luther's Works or the Ancient Christian Commentary.

I am a calvinist (But that honestly will have very little to do with whether or not you will benefit from and enjoy John Calvin, especially his commentaries and Institutes) and John Calvin is one of my personal heroes. But that said, in my budget right now (and with all coming down the prepub pipe) I only upgraded my commentaries. I already own the Institutes. And although I'd get benefit I'm sure from the rest of the material, I simply couldn't justify the expense. The commentaries are a no-brainer, however.

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2010 8:27 PM

Rosie Perera:

The whole Calvin 500 collection might be overkill for your level of interest, but you can get just Calvin's Commentaries and a stand-alone biography of him, and that would pretty much have you covered for Calvin in your library.

I really hope that they split up this collection at a later date so I can pick and choose pieces out of it as I have the time and occasion to do some reading, especially some of the letters and biographies.

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2010 8:49 PM

Jacob Hantla:

I really hope that they split up this collection at a later date so I can pick and choose pieces out of it as I have the time and occasion to do some reading, especially some of the letters and biographies.

They've already split it up. If you click on any of the headings within the main Calvin 500 page, it will take you to the pre-pub page of the sub-collection. They're all there:

Of course as with any big collection, the sum of the parts costs more than the whole collection. In fact, the whole Calvin 500 collection costs less in pre-pub than just the Calvin's Commentaries collection will cost at the Logos Sale Price once this all ships.

Posts 421
Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2010 9:55 PM

Thank you Blair, Rosie, and Jacob for the thoughtful advice. Much appreciated. Smile

Scott

Posts 149
David A. Peterson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2010 3:49 AM

Blair Laird:
I am not a Calvinist

 

I had a theology Prof, that loved to say that even Calvin wasn't a Calvinist (I know he loved to say it, because he told it all three classes I had with him)

DP

He>me

 

Posts 1466
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2010 6:07 AM

David A. Peterson:

Blair Laird:
I am not a Calvinist
I had a theology Prof, that loved to say that even Calvin wasn't a Calvinist (I know he loved to say it, because he told it all three classes I had with him)DP>me

I would agree with your prof. There are many things that modern Calvinism holds that Calvin did not. For example Calvin held that faith precedes regeneration. Modern calvinism does not. The same thing with  atonement, Calvin did not hold to limited atonement.

Posts 88
Nancy A. Almodovar | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2010 6:29 AM

i'm reformed and don't remember reading in calvin that faith precedes regeneration. 

I'm so looking forward to this collection.  Dr. Venema, a Calvin scholar, spoke at our church a few months back and shared the importance of the letters calvin wrote so i'm glad they're in the collection.  Melanchthon nicknamed Calvin "The Theologian".  seems they had a pretty good relationship.  Glad to see Calvin's letters to Luther made it into the collection too.

Posts 930
Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2010 7:57 AM

Blair Laird:

David A. Peterson:

Blair Laird:
I am not a Calvinist
I had a theology Prof, that loved to say that even Calvin wasn't a Calvinist (I know he loved to say it, because he told it all three classes I had with him)DP>me

I would agree with your prof. There are many things that modern Calvinism holds that Calvin did not. For example Calvin held that faith precedes regeneration. Modern calvinism does not. The same thing with  atonement, Calvin did not hold to limited atonement.

Blair, I would be interested in seeing documentation supporting your statement that "Calvin held that faith precedes regeneration." As to Calvin's understanding of the extent of the atonement, there is a lot of debate on that.

Concerning the question raised in the OP, I've wondered if getting the entire collection is overkill, a bunch of nice works to have but which I would probably not use. Then I ran the numbers on what I would really want to have: the Commentaries ($130), the Letters of John Calvin ($70), the Institutes in eBook, not the new collection of Institutes ($35), and Tracts & Treatises ($100). That's almost as much as the current pre-pub price that ends today, so the biography collection, the history of Calvinism collection, and the new Institutes collection are all gravy.

I appreciate the OP's bringing this up because I was tempted to cancel my long-standing pre-pub order and opt out for the Commentaries and ebook Institutes. I would have regretted not having the letters and tracts & treatises, though the loss of the biographies and history of Calvinism would not have really bothered me. As it is, I'm letting my pre-order stand.

Bill

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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