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A Friendship with Emil Brunner

Because I did my doctoral dissertation with Karl Barth at the University of Basel in Switzerland, it might seem strange that I had an even closer relationship with his Swiss Reformed contemporary in Zurich, Emil Brunner. (Once friendly, the two had a major falling out in the mid-1930s after Barth famously said “nein” to Brunner’s essay “Nature and Grace.”) I …

Marilynne Robinson: Calvinian

In Part One of this essay I explored “Marilynne Robinson: Distinctive Calvinist.” Here the focus shifts to Marilynne Robinson as a Calvinian. Calvinians are those people who specialize in Calvin–experts and scholars who read Calvin closely, although they may not personally follow Calvin. In contrast, there are many Calvinists who admire and are shaped in a general way by Calvin, …

Marilynne Robinson: Distinctive Calvinist

Calvinists come in many stripes and colors. There are five-point Calvinists, who may believe they originated with Calvin, but actually owe more to the Canons of Dort; Westminster Calvinists who adhere more to the Westminster standards than Calvin; neo- Calvinists who find their inspiration in the theologies of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck; and neo-Orthodox Calvinists who are closer to …

Calvin at 500–The Literary Beginning of a Quincentennial Celebration

July 10, 2009, marks the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth in Noyon, France. Special conferences and celebrations to commemorate the event are taking place throughout the world, ranging from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Seoul, Korea. The Dutch couldn’t wait and already had a Calvin conference at a modern castle near Putten, the Netherlands, in late October 2008. The lecturers …

Prayer and Pastoral Care

One should not be misled by the title, Pray Without Ceasing, for this is not just another book about prayer. It is indeed about prayer, for there is a brief exposition of the Lord’s Prayer as an illustration of prayers of petition, and there are lengthy discussions of prayers of intercession, prayers of lament, prayers of confession, and prayers of …