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The Expository Genius of John Calvin (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  373 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
“The aim of this book is to raise the bar for a new generation of expositors.”
—Steven J. Lawson

Looking to the past for outstanding Bible-based, Christ-centered, and life-changing preaching, Dr. Steven J. Lawson focuses on sixteenth-century Geneva, Switzerland. It was there that John Calvin ministered for decades as a faithful shepherd to a flock of believers.

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Hardcover, 142 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Reformation Trust
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Derek Brown
Jun 22, 2013 Derek Brown rated it really liked it
Steve Lawson, senior pastor at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama, has started a project - a big project. The project, "A Long Line of Godly Men" is a book series that will survey the doctrines of grace as they have been taught and defended from the time of Moses, to the apostle John, to Augustine, to Luther and Calvin, to Warfield, to present day teachers such as A.W. Pink, Martyn Lloyd Jones, John Piper and John MacArthur. The first installment of this series entitled Foundati ...more
Tony Arsenal
Aug 22, 2015 Tony Arsenal rated it really liked it
No study of Reformation history would be complete without an entry into the life of the Geneva Reformer, John Calvin. Today I'll review an entry into the Long Line of Godly Men series: The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven Lawson, published by Reformation Trust.

This series contains short biographies that focus on a specific individual, and usually a specific aspect of that individual's life and ministry. Calvin, although widely known as a theologian par excellence, however he considered
Philip Mcduffie
Jun 16, 2015 Philip Mcduffie rated it really liked it
Shelves: preaching, biography
Lawson reveals the preaching of Calvin in a way that is extremely applicable for any preacher. The Genevan reformer cannot be imitated on many things, but one can take some very helpful advice on Calvin's approach before and during his time in the pulpit exalting the majesty of the God of heaven and earth.
Peter N.
May 04, 2010 Peter N. rated it really liked it
Whether or not you like this book probably depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a detailed look at Calvin's preaching you will need to go elsewhere. I might suggests T.H.L Parker's book on Calvin's Preaching. Lawson's book is great for a quick review of the main aspects of Calvin's preaching. When I need direction for my preaching, whether delivery or preparation or the conclusion, I can pull out Lawson's book and get some quick input. It is almost like a reference book fo ...more
Timothy Coplin
Jul 18, 2015 Timothy Coplin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-2015
Marvelous portrait of the Man, the Minister, the Preacher that was and still is JOHN CALVIN.

Chapter headings:
Preface: standing on holy ground
1. Calvin's life and legacy
2. Approaching the pulpit
3. Preparing the preacher
4. Launching the sermon
5. Expounding the text
6. Crafting the delivery
7. Applying the truth
8. Concluding the exposition
Conclusion: we want again Calvins!

Dr. Lawson has brought to life Calvin's convictions - those deep rooted, heart-felt beliefs that fueled and focused his everyday l
Jon Anderson
Mar 05, 2014 Jon Anderson rated it liked it
Shelves: church-history
A good short book focusing on the expositional preaching of John Calvin. It deals with both the preacher and the preaching. Good reminder of the nature of the pulpit and how preachers must themselves be pursuing God even in their preparations. The chapters focusing on the "how" of Calvin's preaching are useful, though some effort is necessary to think through what that would look like today. No one should try and preach exactly like Calvin (or any other preacher, for that matter). First in a ser ...more
Hank Pharis
Oct 13, 2015 Hank Pharis rated it it was ok
Almost every commentary I’ve read in church history before John Calvin has been disappointing. Few ever do much at all to clarify the text of Scripture. I don’t agree with everything Calvin wrote or preached. But he is vastly superior to everyone that came before him. Most today think of him primarily as a theologian. But I would say that his exegetical skills are much more impressive. He preached through books of the Bible 6-7 times a week. People would come hear him teach a passage of Scriptu ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
What is the best remedy for the issues in the Church today? What will be the best means to focus Christians upon what really matters and who they really are? Do we have a grand, 1 hour period of inspiring music and then a 30 minute exposition of the Bible? What is the best way to worship God in our Church 'services'? How can we get a new reformation started? As Lawson says, "there are no new remedies for old problems. We must come back to old paths. We must capture the centrality and pungency of ...more
Sep 30, 2013 Ivan rated it really liked it
Despite our thoughts of John Calvin (1509-1564), one cannot dismiss his impact on the church — effects which we still feel today. While many have written on Calvin and his life, few have written solely of him and his preaching; Lawson seeks to do just that.

It is no lie that my anticipation for this series is high and I’m sure I won’t be let down.

The book covers everything in preaching — from core foundations to all the practical nuts-and-bolts of the preaching development to the concluding remar
John Brackbill
Really can't say enough good about this short book. If you are a regular handler of God's Word in a public way this is a must read.

If you haven't considered the importance of expository preaching it is a good primer through example. If you are convinced of the necessity of expository preaching it is a good kick in the pants to keep it up in the middle of a society that rejects the Word and in the middle of a wide church culture that assumes that a reformation type emphasis on Bible exposition j
Isaiah Jesch
Jan 01, 2015 Isaiah Jesch rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A part of a series of books looking at great men of the faith, this book does not disappoint. Not only is there a good biographical sketch of John Calvin, particularly emphasizing his view and practice as a preacher. Dr. Lawson does a particularly good job challenging and motivating the reader to consider their own views on preaching in light of Calvin. I truly enjoyed this book, as I have almost all of the books in this series.
Michael Rachel
Apr 19, 2014 Michael Rachel rated it liked it
Good, terse, quick overview of Calvin as an expositor. Surely there are aspects about preaching that Calvin can contribute to the modern discussion. The most challenging thing in this book was that it seemed to be another book that elevated the subjective approach of Calvin's preaching to a normative status to be followed by many others. If one doesn't see this assumption, it will make reading the book much more enjoyable.
César Augusto
Jun 07, 2016 César Augusto rated it it was amazing
Neste livro, Lawson mostra 32 características da pregação expositiva de João Calvino. Tais características o tornaram, talvez "o maior teólogo e exegeta da História da Igreja". Calvino era um homem com muitos dons. Para pregar, usava a bíblia em grego e hebraico, pregava em francês, sem notas, ou esboço. Um homem usado por Deus, para mudar a história do cristianismo.
Nov 02, 2014 Logan rated it really liked it
I actually really liked this book. It focused on Calvin's preaching, which is very dear to me and which I have become very familiar with through transcribing many myself. It gives a call to today's ministers to return to the passionate, reverent, and text-centered approach of Calvin.
Kurt Michaelson
Jun 02, 2012 Kurt Michaelson rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book, especially since I'm new to pastoral ministry and thoroughly love expository preaching. I've known John Calvin to be an expositor and heard much about "Calvinism" too. But this book by Steven Lawson has helped me to see how important the exposition of Scripture was John Calvin as well as for his congregation.

I have made several highlights of text throughout the book using my Kindle and I look forward to referring to them when I need to.

I would definitely say t
Joseph McBee
Mar 16, 2015 Joseph McBee rated it really liked it
Part biography and part preaching how-to makes this a very good read. I need to go back through and notate the contents. I enjoy this whole series, which takes a laser like focused look of a single aspect of the life of great men of the Christian faith.
Oct 14, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
I enjoyed it, the author has another book out called the foundations of grace I also enjoyed. So far he is 2 for 2, check this one out if your interested in hearing about how John Calvin preached, and interacted with his community of believers in the church. Actually done in the manner of helping others preach and teach, it changed my mind on how I delivered the information in my classes. Presenting the material not on a 5th grade level, but also not on a college level, but rather at the cleares ...more
May 19, 2016 Jonah rated it liked it
A good, brief introduction to Calvin's thoughts on the Word and the office of pastor as preacher.
Josh Skinner
May 01, 2014 Josh Skinner rated it it was amazing
Great book focused on how and why John Calvin preached the way he did. Fun read and pretty short
Aug 11, 2015 Marco rated it it was amazing
Great summary of Calvin's preaching. Succinct and inspiring to a new breed of expository preachers!
Aug 27, 2015 Andy rated it it was amazing
The book dissects Calvin's preaching and highlights over twenty distinctive qualities of his exegetical and homiletical skills. The book contains numerous quotes from Calvin's sermons in order to demonstrate the characteristics of his preaching. A fine read.
Brandon Zaffini
Jul 22, 2015 Brandon Zaffini rated it really liked it
Very good
Josue Manriquez
Jun 08, 2013 Josue Manriquez rated it really liked it
As always, Steve Lawson has written another excellent book. This is not another biography of John Calvin, but rather an explanation of Calvin's "expository genius." It contains 32 distinctives of Calvin's preaching, beginning with Calvin's belief in sola Scriptura, and ending with a closing, climactic prayer.
Jun 17, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it
Lawson's short volume packs a punch by focusing on Calvin's role as Pastor and Preacher. He organizes his thought through a series of "Distinctives." In the process of describing key moments in Calvin's life, the author provides a glimpse into what modern pastors can learn from this giant of the reformation.
Dec 10, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christopher by: Seven Sands Chapel (ADAB)
Very good introduction to Calvin and his ministry in Geneva. This book is very short and the author focuses on Calvin's style of preaching, not on his life (there is one chapter on that) or his theological views on other topics. This is a popular level book, but it is worth the read!
Dec 12, 2014 Marcus rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-church
Five stars for Calvin and 4 for the book. Calvin was a hardcore expositional teacher: He was teaching through the book of Isaiah when he was banished from Geneva. When he returned three years later his first sermon started on the next verse from where he had left off!
Richard Gambill
Dec 07, 2013 Richard Gambill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preaching
Excellent book. A short and easy read. Yet informative and inspiring. Dr. Lawson's final conclusion is nail on: what the church needs today more than anything else is more Calvins who are dedicated to solid expository preaching. I can't wait to read other books in this series.
Adam Smith
Oct 02, 2013 Adam Smith rated it it was amazing
Excellent treatment of The methodology of Calvin's preaching. I've never read a book like it. It certainly provided deep insight into Calvin's personality and his heart for the faithful preaching of God's word.

See my blog for a fuller review.

John Weathersby
This was just fantastic! Say what you will, if you must, about John Calvin, this look into the purposes for his Biblical approach(s) to ministry is fantastic.

Love the 5 points hate the 5 points, this is a great read-
Daniel Piva
Oct 02, 2015 Daniel Piva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homiletics, doctorate
Ótimo. Recomendo tanto a crentes, estudantes de teologia e pastores, mesmo com já algum tempo de mistério e prática na exposição da palavra de Deus.
Sempre é momento de rever e revitalizar as práticas com boas fontes.
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Dr. Steven J. Lawson is the Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama, having served as a pastor in Arkansas and Alabama for the past twenty-nine years. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University (B.B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Reformed Theological Seminary (D. Min.)
More about Steven J. Lawson...

Other Books in the Series

A Long Line of Godly Men Profile (10 books)
  • The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards (Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
  • The Mighty Weakness of John Knox
  • The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
  • The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther (Long Line of Godly Men Profiles)
  • The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts (A Long Line of Godly Men Profiles)
  • The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield
  • The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen
  • The Daring Mission of William Tyndale
  • The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)

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“Expository preaching consists in the explanation and application of a passage of Scripture. Without explanation it is not expository; without application it is not preaching."32” 2 likes
“It is desperately essential in this hour that preachers recover a soaring vision of the supremacy of God. Life-changing, history-altering preaching will come only when pastors reclaim a high view of God's blazing holiness and are overshadowed by His absolute sovereignty. Towering thoughts of God's transcendent glory must captivate preachers' souls.” 1 likes
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