The distinctive nature of Calvin’s Institutes and certain motifs in his theology

  • I. John Hesselink Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan
Keywords: Calvin’s Institutes, dogmatic or systematic theology


Calvin’s life, work, and theological writings are all of a piece. One cannot fullyappreciate the Institutes if one is not aware of Calvin’s own personal piety and consciousness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. The Institutes was noteven originally written as a dogmatic or systematic theology, but as an aid to the understanding of the Bible. Calvin’s original intention was to write a handbook which would serve as an introduction to the reading of the Bible, not for theologians but for laity.