John Calvin: Christian Humanist and Evangelical Reformer

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Wipf and Stock Publishers, Jul 5, 2013 - Religion - 240 pages
2009 is the 500th anniversary of the birth of Calvin, the Reformed theologian whose legacy has played such an important role in the shaping of modern South Africa.

The popular understanding of him as grim moralist, proponent of predestination and a tyrannical God is a caricature, but one that does spring from aspects of Calvin's legacy.

In this book, De Gruchy attempts to restate the Reformed tradition as a transforming force, one that opposed slavery and apartheid and that participated in the struggle for liberation and transformation in this country.

De Gruchy considers Christian humanism to be an alternative to both Christian fundamentalism and secularism, as "being a Christian is all about being truly human in common with the rest of humanity", and has come to the conclusion that there is much to retrieve and celebrate in the Reformed tradition that is of importance for the ecumenical church and global society in the 21st century.

The "evangelical" element in the title refers to the literal meaning of the word - "good news" - which is at the heart of being both Christian and human.
 

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Contents

Christian humanism
21
Calvin Amongst the Reformers
45
From friends to foes
51
Truth and the failure of tolerance
58
Humanist Reformer
65
Radical but not radical enough
72
a Reformer
79
First stay in Geneva
87
Calvin as Doctor of the Church
113
Key Themes in Calvins Legacy
133
Confessions and interpretation
147
Election and Grace
163
Liturgy and Eucharist
177
Beauty Images and Contemplation
191
Social Humanism and Public Life
205
the Future
219

Anabaptists and infant baptism
93
Calvin the Genevan Reformer
99

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About the author (2013)

John de Gruchy is Emeritus Professor of Christian Studies at the University of Cape Town, where he taught for over thirty years. He is currently a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Cape Town and an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch. De Gruchy, who has doctorates in both theology and the social sciences, is author of The Church Struggle in South Africa and a number of other significant books.

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