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John Calvin's Doctrine of the Christian Life

Overview

In this thorough investigation of Calvinist doctrine, John Leith defines the Reformer's teaching on Christian life in the context of his theology. He begins with a discussion of what it means to say that the purpose of Christian life is the glory of God. He then discusses Christian life in relation to four aspects of Calvinist thought: justification by faith alone; providence and predestination; history and the transhistorical; church and society.

Leith's concluding statement ...

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Overview

In this thorough investigation of Calvinist doctrine, John Leith defines the Reformer's teaching on Christian life in the context of his theology. He begins with a discussion of what it means to say that the purpose of Christian life is the glory of God. He then discusses Christian life in relation to four aspects of Calvinist thought: justification by faith alone; providence and predestination; history and the transhistorical; church and society.

Leith's concluding statement summarizes the importance of this book. "Calvin's doctrine of the Christian life represents a magnificent effort to give expression to what it means to have to do with the living God every moment of one's life. No interpretation of the sola gloria Dei ["only God's glory"] has been more vivid and dynamic than Calvin's. For this reason he speaks to the needs of this generation, which, at least until recently, has been more frequently concerned about the glory of humankind than that of God and which has fallen victim to many false gods and vicious ideologies. Yet if Calvinism is to render its full service to our day, it must be interpreted in the context of the shared faith of the total Christian community. On the basis of Calvin's own principles, no human statement of Christian faith can ever be final and must be continually reformed by the Christian community's apprehension of the word of God as revealed in Jesus Christ."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608994403
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Pages: 230

Meet the Author

John H. Leith (1919-2002) also authored Introduction to the Reformed Tradition and edited Creeds of the Churches. He was Pemberton Professor of Theology at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, an alumnus of Columbia Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University , and received a PhD from Yale University . He served on numerous committees of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Albert C. Outler 7

Preface 13

Introduction 23

1 The Christian Life 37

A The Glory of God 37

B Jesus Christ, the Law, the Bible 45

C Repentance 65

D Mortification-Vivification: Self-Denial, Cross Bearing, Meditation on the Future Life 74

E The Ethos of the Christian Life 82

2 The Christian Life in Relation to Justification by Faith Alone 87

A Justification by Faith Alone 87

B The Relation of Justification by Faith Alone to Sanctification 95

C The Place of Good Works in the Christian Life 103

3 The Christian Life in Relation to Providence and Predestination 107

A The Doctrine of Providence and Its Relation to the Christian Life 108

B The Doctrine of Predestination and Its Relation to the Christian Life 120

C The Problem of Human Responsibility 138

4 The Christian Life in Relation to History and the Transhistorical 146

A History 148

B The Transhistorical 160

5 The Christian Life in Relation to Church and Society 166

A The Church and Its Relation to the Christian Life 167

B Society in Its Relation to the Christian Life 184

Conclusion 213

Bibliography 225

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