| By Thea B. Van Halseme|
Neerlandia, Alberta, Canada TOG 1RO
This Was John Calvin is a 224-page biographical account
of the life of a reformer of Christianity. The story brings to
life this historical figure, from the time of his childhood through
his academic and preaching years until his death. The author creatively
weaves the details of Calvin's life into a readable tale for anyone
interested in the Reformation, students and adults alike. She uses
quotes from Calvin's own writings to show the faith of a man so
influential to much of Christianity.
I was repeatedly moved by Calvin's convictions and strength of
faith. I found Halseme's telling of Calvin's life to be both informative
and inspiring. We learn that his own mother died when he was just
three. He was then reared by his stepmother and his father, who
prepared him for a life of work in the church. Halseme gives direct
quotes from Calvin's own works to show how he grows in his faith
and begins to question the church in which he was raised.
While the book does inform the reader thoroughly of Calvin's life,
there are times when the account is almost offensive to the unreformed.
I believe it is assumed the reader is of reformed Christianity
and agrees with Calvin's theology. While this makes the book an
interesting read to a follower of Calvin, it would not be an appropriate
biography for those who simply want to learn the facts about Calvin.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel and recommend it to those interested
in the Reformation and Calvin's role in it.