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Ordained Servant Online

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Calvin at 500: The Word

Ordained Servant Cover

October 2009

From the Editor. Recently I lectured to a group of Egyptian and Sudanese Presbyterian leaders near Cairo, Egypt. My theme was "The Power of Preaching in the Modern World." My host asked me if I would speak on Calvin in honor of the quincentennary of his birth. Although not directly related to preaching, the character of the preacher is of no small importance. In Calvin's case detractors need to be answered by articulating the Christ-like excellencies of this extraordinary pastor. So, I decided to revise a two part article (Banner of Truth magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2001) on Calvin's humanity and add a small section on his preaching. Meanwhile, I read Professor Godfrey's new biography on the plane.

It has been some time since I have read much either by or about Calvin, apart from his always insightful commentaries. While he would not have approved of using his name to describe our movement, this reading reminded me of why we are happy to be called Calvinists. Clearly the best theologians in his wake have built upon, rather than deviated from, his theology and ministry. As a pastor-theologian he has no equal.

Due to the importance of the subject and the length of the articles submitted I am devoting two issues of OS to Calvin at 500. This month I have adapted my Banner of Truth magazine article on Calvin's humanity as an editorial essay. John Muether's introduction to the 2009 pre-assembly lectures, as well as Glen Cary's "John Calvin: Servant of the Word," have been adapted to OS as well. Next month, among other things, I will publish Richard Gaffin's lecture "Calvin on the Sabbath"; Richard Gamble will review Larson's Calvin's Doctrine of the State; and I will review Godfrey's John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


From the Archives: "JOHN CALVIN"

  • "Editorial [on Women Deacons]." (G. I. Williamson) 3:3 (Jul. 1994): 49-50.
  • "The Lord's Supper Celebration with Calvin." (T. Brienen) 11:3 (Jul. 2002): 62-64.
  • "Some Timely Thoughts from John Calvin on Differences Among Christians." (Stephen Doe) 9:4 (October 2000): 91-92.
  • "The Voice from the Pulpit: John Calvin and Preaching," (Stephen Doe) 17:7 (June-July 2008). Printed edition: 60-66.


  • "The Future of Calvinism." (James S. Gidley) 2:2 (Apr. 1993): 42-47.
  • " 'Terrible Honesty in an Age of Sentimentalism': An Interview with Dr. Ann Douglas by Modern Reformation." (Ann Douglas) 5:3 (Jul. 1996): 63-65.

Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic Presbyterianism.

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