The Secret Providence of God [eBook]
In 1558 John Calvin held a prominent position of leadership in the Reform movement. He had written prolifically and his works had been widely circulated-and critiqued. It was at this time that he penned an answer to a critique of his position on divine providence, as articulated in the 1546 edition of the Institutes. His polemical defense of his beliefs, The Secret Providence of God, reflects the boisterous, argumentative tone of the Reformation era and is Calvin’s fullest treatment on this most important doctrine. Unfortunately, in recent decades this work has been largely forgotten.
With this new English translation of Calvin’s work, editor Paul Helm reintroduces The Secret Providence of God to students, pastors, and lay readers of Reformed theology. Translator Keith Goad has modernized the English while preserving a Latinized translation style as far as possible. Helm has provided a full introduction, discussing the work’s background, content, style, and relation to Calvin’s other writings on providence.
PAUL HELM is a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, where he was previously the J. I. Packer Professor of Philosophical Theology. Before going to Regent he was professor of history and philosophy of religion at King’s College in London. His books include Eternal God; The Providence of God; Faith with Reason; John Calvin’s Ideas; and John Calvin: A Guide for the Perplexed.
“Calvin’s treatise on the secret providence of God shows the Reformer at his theological best and polemically most acute. Like Luther before him, he demonstrates why the doctrine of divine sovereignty lies at the very heart of the Reformation, and why the doctrine is of such singular doctrinal, pastoral, and ecclesiastical importance. It is to be hoped that this new edition will introduce a new generation to Calvin’s thinking on this vital matter.”
—Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life
“Calvin’s robust defense of God’s providential rule of history is an excellent reminder of what was a vital concern for the French Reformer and also of his desire to be rigorously biblical and, as such, God-glorifying. Here is a pattern of theological reflection and method truly worthy of emulation.”
—Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary