Calvin in the Public Square
Explores John Calvin's extraordinary influence on what we consider the key elements of a modern, compassionate, and just society—particularly the fields of liberal democracy, rights, and civil liberties. David Hall is a first-rate historian and theologian, and is providing wonderful leadership to the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth. This particular volume is a tour-de-force of history, theory and application. Hall traces the political thought and implications of Calvin's writings. He then shows how Calvin's followers, Knox, Beza, and some you've never heard of, took his ideas and built upon them. He explores how these ideas then spread and influenced both the British Isles and the American Colonies/States. His contemporary lessons on how Calvin's ideas and those of his successors can and should be applied today is outstanding! One small critique is that, it seems he tries to make too strong a case for the faith of the founding Fathers in some cases. He is completely accurate on the influence of Calvinist thought on their political ideas, but their personal orthodoxy is assumed rather than proven is several cases. This doesn't weaken his overall argument, however. Anyone who is interested in either Calvinist theology or political theory and history should grab this book and read it. You'll be glad you did!