The Expository Genius of John Calvin
A Long Line of Godly Men Profile
Dr. Steven J. Lawson delves into the practices, commitments, and techniques that made John Calvin, the great Reformer of the sixteenth century, such an effective preacher during his long pastorate at Saint Pierre Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Lawson identifies 32 distinctives of Calvin’s preaching, providing comments from Calvin’s writings, quotations from Reformation scholars, and examples from Calvin’s own sermons to reinforce his points. In the end, Dr. Lawson finds in Calvin a strong model for expository preaching and calls on modern pastors to follow the Reformer’s example.
Although Calvin was a quiet man in private life, when preaching he was passionate and dynamic. Firmly persuaded of the absolute authority of the Word of God, Calvin knew that hearers needed to hear it presented with authority. “The preacher has to use vehemence, so that we may know that this is not a game”, he wrote. “The preacher must combine sweetness and gentleness with vigor and vehemence, and must speak as an ambassador in a way that shows he is not pretending.” In a comment that could be aimed at the modern trend toward entertainment and drama in the church, he said, “Let us learn that God does not intend there to be churches as places for people to make merry and laugh in, as if a comedy were being acted here. But there must be majesty in his Word, by which we may be moved and affected.”
About The Author
Dr. Steven J. Lawson is President and founder of OnePassion Ministries, a ministry designed to equip biblical expositors to bring about a new reformation in the church. Dr. Lawson hosts The Institute for Expository Preaching in cities around the world. Dr. Lawson is also a Teaching Fellow for Ligonier Ministries, where he serves on its board. Moreover, he is Professor of Preaching and oversees the Doctor of Ministry program at The Master’s Seminary, where he also serves on its board. Further, Dr. Lawson serves as the Executive Editor for Expositor Magazine published by OnePassion Ministries.
Dr. Lawson has served as a pastor for 34 years in Arkansas and Alabama. Most recently, he was senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University (BBA), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM), and Reformed Theological Seminary (DMin).
Dr. Lawson is the author of 28 books.