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In Their Own Words: The Testimonies of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and John Bunyan by David B. Calhoun

Posted On January 14, 2019

I was introduced to the writings of David B. Calhoun when he published his book with Banner of Truth, Knowing God and Ourselves: Reading Calvin’s Institutes Devotionally. I enjoyed that book immensely, and this book is just as good. In Calhoun’s latest book, In Their Own Words: The Testimonies of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and John Bunyan, Calhoun works as a masterful editor as he labors to introduce readers to these 4 great men of church history by assimilating their own words from other works to provide accessible autobiographies to the readers. Calhoun’s voice is limited, but the places he chooses to insert himself make the reading experience more pleasurable.

I was interested and excited about this work because I don’t know of any other book that assimilates the biographical writings of these men in such a brief, accessible format. This book is around 230 pages, and by the end of the book, readers are acquainted with the personal struggles and victories of these men. The book isn’t so much a study of their doctrine as much as it is about how their doctrine animated their personal lives and commitment to ministry. I found it encouraging to be reminded of Bunyan’s struggle with sin and his view of himself. I found it comforting to know that Calvin’s desire to be left alone instead of fulfilling a pastoring role in a difficult community and church (although the Lord changed his heart and never gave him his desire of being left alone).  

Calhoun assumes no knowledge of the reader but puts the book together in a way that is beneficial for those who are well acquainted with these men and those who know nothing about them. I commend this wholeheartedly. I personally read it during my devotional times as I found it to have a devotional feel to the way it read. Happy reading!

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Andreas Kostenberger- The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction

Andreas Kostenberger- The Jesus of the Gospels: An Introduction

On today’s Equipping You in Grace, Dave and Dr. Andreas Kostenberger discuss strategies to read the Gospels, how the Gospels use the Old Testament and how this helps Christians read the Gospel rightly, along with advice for preaching and teaching the Gospels, along...

Suffering Well in Community

Suffering Well in Community

I am most definitely not a fisherman. I subscribe to the old saying, “There is a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.” So, maybe I am not the one to use a fishing illustration to begin. However, there is something that even I have picked...

The Love and Peace of Christ

The Love and Peace of Christ

Colossians 3:14-15, “14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Continuing his discussion of what the new...

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