Friday, May 04, 2007

Blame Canada

Steven Lawson's new book 'The expositiory genius of John Calvin' popped through my door this week. It's really good. Lawson pastors a church in Mobile, Alabama, a place i like probably only because it's mentioned in 'to kill a mockingbird'. Lawson is writing a series called 'along line of Godly men' which in five volumes is charting the history of the church from 1400BC until now. Thats an undertaking in itself, but as a spin off from this series he's also writing 'a long line of Godly men' profiles, of which this is the first. Among the others to be written about by Lawson will be Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and Luther. Are you excited yet?

Lawson says his objective in this series is to 'raise the bar for a new generation of Biblie expositors', that is, people who will preach the Bible through verse by verse and book by book. Calvin, whatever else you make of him is an excellent example of this. On one occasion when he was forced away from his Geneva church by exile, he returned three years later, and continued his preaching on the next verse! After three years! Calvin spent years preaching verse by verse through nearly every book of the Bible. Here clearly is the example of a great man to follow.

It's probably because of the Biblical truth that he pumped out month after month from his pulpit in Geneva that the Reformation had the impact it did. Persecuted protestants from all over Europe, particularly France and Britian fled to Geneva to sit under this man's teaching. Many then turned right around again, convinced that despite the hardship and suffering they would face, the Jesus that Calvin had showed them needed to be known everywhere. Calvin didn't shy away from teaching the truth because of controversy. He saw himself as a pastor first, and to him the best way of pastoring was to teach the truth from the Bible, sometimes as often as three times a day, to counter the anti-protestant forces all over Europe. We can learn something from him here as well.

you can buy the book here.
see also: arguments for expository preaching

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