Author: John Calvin
A résume of John Calvin’s first edition of the Institutes of the Christian Religion, this brief outline (Brève Instruction chrétienne) was written by John Calvin in 1537 and was translated to become this book by Stuart Olyott in 1998. Calvin who was a prominent figure of the Protestant Reformation realized that the truths of the Bible that were rediscovered at the Reformation must be spread to the whole world, to recover the Biblical Gospel that everyone requires in this world. Thus, Calvin felt that it was important to present the Christian faith in a form which ordinary people could understand. This is what drove him to write this short book; to build up believers’ faith by helping us understand the teachings of the precious Holy Scriptures that had been hidden to many people before the rise of the Reformation.
As we read this book, we are brought to know how Christians are supposed to live according to the will of God. He introduces to us the Biblical views on the concepts of knowing God and knowing ourselves, God’s law, faith, prayer, sacraments and the church, all of which are important components of the Christian faith. As a brief outline, this book does not offer a comprehensive study on these topics; that would be found in the much longer Institutes of Christian Religion which was also authored by Calvin. However, it is sufficient in introducing these biblical concepts and to trigger deeper exploration of His Word in order that we feel the warmth of God’s ardent love towards His people who have been brought into personal union with His Only Son, Jesus Christ. May this book help drive us to remain faithful to God’s Word. (FHW)