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12 July, 2009 / theexpositor

Robert Godfrey-Calvin: Why He Still Matters

By. W. Robert Godfrey, Westminster Seminary California

Calvin was a great teacher, because he really knew the Bible, and because he found ways to communicate effectively what he learned.  As a teacher he was eager to lead others to a sense of certainty about the truth. He believed that the Bible was not only true and reliable and helpful, but he believed it was understandable so that people could come to a knowledge of the truth, a certain knowledge of the truth, an undoubted knowledge of the truth, so that they would not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine, but that they would know the truth and the truth would set them free.   Free from what? Free from sin, free from the devil, free from ignorance, free from the lies of false religion.  And it was with that confidence in that truth that those graduates from Geneva went forth to preach in France and often to die.  It was with that confidence that the Reformed church was able to spread throughout Europe and later the world.

Calvin still matters because the church still needs truth communicated effectively so that we might be sure that we know the truth, that we have been set free by the truth, and that we will live forever in Jesus who is the truth. John Calvin still matters because while he has many spiritual children, he remains in my judgment one of the greatest teachers the church has ever known in his balance, as well as in his insight and his passion. Time spent with John Calvin is time still well spent, and still a blessing for the church today.

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