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Light for the City: Calvin's Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty [Paperback]

By Lester De Koster (Author)
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Item Number 143830  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   139
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802827802  
EAN  9780802827807  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Light for the City: Calvin's Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty by Lester De Koster

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Liberty for Whom?  Oct 15, 2006
The premise of this book flawed. To associate Jean Calvin with "liberty" can only be done by ignoring too much evidence to the contrary. As a history this book lacks credibility. As a mere polemic, judge for yourself.

But consider one test case for Calvin's concept of liberty. In 1553 Calvin had Michael Servetus burned at the stake just outside of Geneva for heresy (anti-Trinitarianism or Unitarianism). Thus, Calvin violated the essence of the Reformation -- "Sola Scriptura" -- by murdering a doctrinal heretic without scriptural justification.

In fact, Calvin's actions were pre-meditated. In 1546 Calvin went on record as saying: "If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight."

Evidently, Calvin's authority in Geneva - not any sense of "liberty" - had ultimate "weight." This is why some referred to Calvin as the "Protestant 'Pope' of Geneva." Calvin's dictatorial theocracy was coming under increasing attack within Geneva. He killed Servetus (who refused to recant) judicially to try and hold onto his weakening power.

Subsequnetly we can see what Calvin's Puritan New England followers did in in the name of "liberty" to Roger Williams (banishment), Anne Hutchinson (excommunication and banishment) and Mary Dyer (banishment and execution).

In each case, the power of the godly trumped liberty of conscience. But liberty of conscience, bolstered by the separation of church and state, won out ultimately, thanks to the followers of Servetus, Williams and many others (William Penn, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison) - not Calvin!
Great, if you can ignore the man-crush  Mar 16, 2006
This is a must read for a potential church planter. This book was recommended to me by a man I have great respect for, and throughout the book I saw Koster's description of Calvin's love for the city in him and his church. As I read the text of this book my heart burned for the city I grew up in which I long to lift up the gospel in.
If you can handle the author's obvious, and sometime's creepy, man-crush on Calvin, then you will get alot out of this book. If it weren't for this I would give this book 5 stars.

Preach the Word men!
Calvinism in Action  Nov 26, 2005
While many people have rightly drawn attention to predestination as the cardinal element in Calvin's theology, everybody--both his sympathizers and critics--missed the rather obvious corollary: God has freed his people by means of predestination. No longer do we worry about a capricious universe of Chance, but we rejoice in a sovereign God whose sovereignty gives meaning to our actions. We are no longer bound by the curse of sin, but can live unto God. In fact, it is only because of God's sovereignty that my life has any meaning. God is the Ultimate Absolute who orders time and history as to give it meaning. I ask my Arminian brethren the same question I ask anti-theists: What are the preconditions of intelligibility? In our universe, if history is true and meaningful, what must first be the case that this may be so?

Having established this point, how are Calvinists to live? Rather than waiting for "heaven" these liberated people invade the "intererim." The intererim is the space between earth and eternity or more precisely, it is the earthly perspective of eternity. They are, in other words, to build The City. The city is the focal point between the Churchc adn the Kingdom of God. Or, better put, it is the fruit of the Church's harvest. The Church harvests the Kingdom of God and the result is the City. It is the throne of Christ's Kingdom on earth. The City is the focus of the most influential world power in the history of Civilization: Christendom.

How is this to be realized? Preaching--the Pulpit--is the human tool to build the City (Ha! I fooled all you gnostics out there on this one. You expected me to say "the sword" because your worldview believes in top-down violent power). The City is preached into existence. The "Word" brings order into the chaos and so builds the City. The City is attained via the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit via the Sermon.

This is the unspoken theme in Book IVof Calvin's Institutes. The Church is to create the social structure called the City. "Calvinism" is the true Vision for humanity's socialization.

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