Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Birthday John!

Greetings to everyone at TC from lovely and humid Charlotte, North Carolina. Our family had a very enjoyable trip out to Virginia, and my class on the theology of Jonathan Edwards this week has been very stimulating, stretching and is impacting how I think about ministry in the local church. Today our class (though not my work for it) comes to an end.

That may make today significant for me, but this date is significant for the church worldwide for another, greater reason. Today marks the 500th birthday of John Calvin. Though you may personally know little about Calvin, many consider him the greatest post-apostolic theologian the church has ever had. Not only did Calvin lead the 16th century Reformation in France and Switzerland. Not only did he write the first systematic theology (his Institutes of the Christian Religion). Not only did he mentor such significant church leaders as John Knox. Not only did he reform Christian worship in a biblical manner. Not only did he write commentaries on almost every book of the Bible. Not only did he preach at least five times a week and serve as shepherd for the entire city of Geneva. Not only did Calvin do these great things, but more important and imforming them all, he worked hard to ensure that a conscious focus on God was at the center of it all. We call John Calvin the father of all truly God-centered ministry, preaching, worship and life in its modern expressions. And because we strive for a decidedly God-centered focus more than anything else at Trinity Church, we owe a tremendous debt to John Calvin.

After our class ends today here at Reformed Theological Seminary we're going to sing 'Happy Birthday' and eat birthday cake in honor of Calvin. My prayer is that you would honor his memory today too. Even better than a birthday party, let me encourage you to celebrate him by more fully embracing his vision of living a truly God-centered life to the glory of Christ.

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