17. Institutes of the Christian Religion: Book 3 by John Calvin
The title of Book Three is The Mode of Obtaining the Grace of Christ. The Benefits It Confers, and the Effects Resulting from It.
This Book, which contains a full exposition of the Third Part of the Apostles’ Creed, treats of the mode of procuring the grace of Christ, the benefits which we derive and the effects which follow from it, or of the operations of the Holy Spirit in regard to our salvation.
I like what he says about repentance and there being no need for confession to a priest. I loved what he said about our righteousness being by faith in Christ. Good meaty stuff!
Doctrine is not an affair of the tongue, but of the life; is not apprehended by the intellect and memory merely, like other branches of learning; but is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds its seat and habitation in the inmost recesses of the heart. (III, vi, 4)
To doctrine in which our religion is contained we have given the first place, since by it our salvation commences; but it must be transfused into the breast, and pass into the conduct, and so transform us into itself, as not to prove unfruitful.(III, vi, 4)Doctrine is not my favorite thing. His Institutes are 1775 pages (And you ask why am I reading all 1775? Call me crazy!), and that is longer than the Bible! Why not just read the Bible? That is what I keep thinking as I listen, but he was counteracting years of misinformation on what was Scriptural and what was not. So, I see why he had to do it.
He gets into the whole election thing. I believe in the elect, but I believe that Jesus died for all too. So that is where we part ways, but I still think he loved God and was brilliant (even after 1207 pages!)
I wonder if there is an index for all the verses he quotes. I love hearing Scripture as I read it and listen to it while I work. I think this is the one he quotes most of all:
Amen! I will never get tired of hearing that!!!
By the way . . .
You might notice that I no longer have the Librivox.org audiobook cover. I broke down and bought a recently released (Dec 2012) 99 cent Kindle version because it is easier to keep track of where I am, and I can switch back and forth between listening to it and reading it. I was reading it on my Logos version, and then trying to find where I should go on the audio. Too much of a hassle.
Also, the monotone girl read many of the sections on the Librivox.org version, and I just cannot handle her anymore!
(Plus, I like my digital voice pal. We have been friends for 4 years now. I think he has even become a believer after reading me so many Christian books like Institutes!)