Ligon Duncan recently posted on the top ten reasons why we should read Calvin’s Institutes. I’ve included the list below, but the great news is that we can all access John Calvin’s Institutes free online at a variety of places.
Calvin’s Institute at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
CCEL has both a text and online version of Calvin’s Institute.
Calvin’s Institute at the Centre for Reformed Theology and Apologetics
This great website includes a version of Calvin’s Institute that you can read on the internet.
Study course on Calvin’s Instututes at the Covenant Theological Seminary
If you want to do more than just read the Institutes then the Covenant Theological Seminary website will more than satisfy you. 24 lessons that can be listened to on a podcast, online or read via a pdf. This is an amazing collection of study materials!
If you’re still not sure, then here is the list of ten reasons:
1. Because it the most important book written in the last 500 years.
2. Because it is foundational for every Reformed systematic theology ever since.
3. Because Calvin was the best exegete in the history of Christianity.
4. Because Calvin is one of the five greatest theologians in Christian history.
5. Because he wrote it as a “sum of piety” not as an arid, speculative dogmatic treatise.
6. Because it gave J.I. Packer the idea for “Knowing God.”
7. Because Calvin thought and wrote succintly and clearly. “Brevitas et claritas” was his motto – brief and clear!
8. Because you will know God better, if you read it prayerfully and believingly.
9. Because it’s the 500th anniversary year of Calvin’s birthday. Don’t be a party pooper.
10. Because I agree with what Derek and Iain say in their posts.