This coming July 10th marks John Calvin’s 500th birthday, and there is a surge of Calvin resources washing ashore. Very few names and labels carry the stigma and power to polarize people than the name of John Calvin. People even gauge their degree of agreeement with Calvin’s soteriology numerically: 4 pointers, 4.5 pointers, 5 pointers and even a few 7 pointers (even though there are only 5 points).
The tragedy in all this is that we’ve lost the man for the ‘-ism’ that he’s become. When I first began to read Calvin (which I did because I didn’t want to be someone with an opinion about something I haven’t engaged with) I was surprised to find Calvin to be very easy to read, very insightful, and amazingly pastoral and gracious. He was far from what I expected.
If you are unfamiliar with Calvin the man or his theology, Monergism has compiled a large selection of audio resources on John Calvin and this thing we call Calvinism (also known as the doctrines of grace).
Monergism’s audio listings on:
John Calvin the man >>>
Calvinism the theology >>>
Dr. Steve Lawson, pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, has been teaching the men of his church in what they call the Men’s Seminary, I believe which is held on Thursday mornings (could be wrong).
The messages focus largely on the doctrines of grace taught through the lense of church history. It’s a fascinating series which I’ve highlighted portions before.
Lawson’s New Reformation website has collected these messages on a page devoted to the Men’s Seminary, and it an easy way to access the mp3’s.
Men’s Seminary page >>>
In 5 messages, John Piper takes a condensed look at Paul’s argument in chapters 9 through 11 in which he assures that Israel will be saved. These chapters lead us into the doctrines of grace, particularly focusing on God’s electing work in salvation. Piper deals with this text in one of the most helpful, pastoral and direct ways I’ve heard. He even raises the possibility that it was out of God’s anger with Israel that God extended salvation to the Gentiles.
Piper also relates his difficulty as a seminary student with God’s sovereignty and elective will which caused his world to collapse around him.
Romans, the condensed version page >>>
A TOP AUDIO POST
I am growing more and more fond of Steve Lawson, particularly his look at church history. This series is fantastic, and I’ll be listening to them again to get all the information. These messages are delivered at the Friday morning ‘Men’s Seminary’ meeting at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church. We are greatly blessed to be able to sit in on these sessions.
In his series ‘Long Line of Godly Men’, Steve Lawson recently covered the life of Augustine of Hippo, one of the most influential men in church history. Lawson looks intently at Augustine’s battle with the monk Pelagius, and draws some timely conclusions the church needs to hear today. We enjoy a thousand years of history to see that the outworking of Pelagianism is secular humanism, while the outworking of Augustine is Reformed Theology. Shortly after, a halfway house between these two theologies emerged, that being Semi-Pelagianism, which dogs the church today.
Augustine was also the writer that had a tremendous impact on Calvin and Luther. Part 3 looks at how our understanding of the fall, man’s nature and sin directly effects everything else we believe including the Christ’s work on the cross and evangelism. The distinctions Lawson examine are critical for a correct gospel.
The first message listed, ‘From Clement of Rome to Augustine of Hippo’ is an excellent overview of the first 400 years of church history. Unfortunately, I am unable to locate this message since CFBC has moved the audio on their website. If you find it please leave a comment with a link to this audio file.
Augustine of Hippo part 2 mp3 >>>
Augustine of Hippo part 3 mp3 >>>
Augustine of Hippo part 4 mp3 >>>
Augustine of Hippo part 5 mp3 >>>
The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals Conference this year focused on the Doctrines of Grace. The speakers include Sinclair Ferguson, Phil Ryken, Ligon Duncan, Carl Trueman, Derek Thomas and others. Four of the sessions were devoted to ‘Reformed Biography’, biographical lectures about B.B. Warfield, John Owen, Thomas Boston and John Knox.
Doctrines of Grace MP3 page >>>