Calvin as a Servant of the Word of God

In honor of John Calvin’s 500th anniversary, the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church held a pre-Assembly conference on the subject of John Calvin. The Rev. Dr. Richard B. Gaffin of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, spoke on Calvin’s soteriology. The Rev. Glen J. Clary, pastor of Immanuel Orthodox Presbyterian Church, West Collingswood, New Jersey spoke on Calvin as a servant of the Word of God.

Christ the Center had the privilege of welcoming Glen to the panel to discuss his lecture topic. Join us for an interesting discussion of Calvin’s theology of preaching touching on its authority, the presence of Christ, and worship.

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Calvin, John. Calvin: Theological Treatises. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954.

—. Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles: Chapters 1–7. Edinburgh: Banner Of Truth Trust, 2008.

—. Sermons on Genesis: Chapters 1–11. Banner Of Truth Trust, 2009.

Lawson, Steven. The Expository Genius of John Calvin. Lake Mary FL: Reformation Trust Pub., 2006.

Parker, Thomas. Calvin’s Preaching. 1st ed. Louisville Ky.: Westminster/J. Knox Press, 1992.

—. The Oracles of God: An Introduction to the Preaching of John Calvin. London [u.a.]: Lutterworth Press, 1947.

Preaching. Dyer Ind.: Mid-America Reformed Seminary, 1999.

Wallace, Ronald. Calvin’s Doctrine of the Word and Sacrament. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1957.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Glen Clary

10 years ago

Thanks again Jim and Camden for your graciousness. In a bibliography on Calvin’s Preaching, one would want to include (in addition to the good books you list above) volume 4 of Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old’s The Reading and the Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church, which covers the Reformation period. Also, I should have mentioned the preaching conference held each Fall at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C. This is an excellent oportunity for one to come study Reformed preaching with Dr. Old, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson and others (check the website for details http://www.erskineseminary.org/Academics/IRW.html).

Tim H.

10 years ago

It was a great interview Pastor Clary. I thank God for your service to His kingdom.

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Jared Nelson

10 years ago

Is Rev Clary’s paper published anywhere as of yet? If not are there plans to publish it? I am working on a thesis on the preaching of the word as means of grace and would profit from giving his paper a closer look.


10 years ago

Thank you for another informative program. The point concerning ministering and receiving the word as a part of congregational worship of God was helpful (Rom 15:4-6). The elucidation of receiving the word as being nourished (1Ti 4:6), in terms of our union with Christ, was edifying.

I have some questions regarding some of Calvin’s teaching:

Could the emphasis on preaching as a means of grace: being dependant on the correct expounding of the scriptures, without also an explicit acknowledgment of a total dependence on the grace of God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Joh 15:5; 1Co 2:4), lead to a Catholic ex opere operato conclusion? Could not God sovereignly decide to withhold
His grace if He so chose, even if correct means are employed?

Does the emphasis on the minister preaching as Christ actually speaking, without the explicit recognition of the complementary truths of: each believer having the unction of the Holy Spirit (1Jn 2:20) and Christ being in us (Col 1:27) and amongst us (Mat 18:20), lead to the minister assuming the role of a vicar (in persona Christi)?

Again thank you for your hard work in seeking to serve and edify the body of Christ.

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