Conversations with Calvin: Daily Devotions

Donald K. McKim
Cascade Books, 186 pages

John Calvin looms large in the history of Christianity. Yet, he is often misunderstood and the distortions of his thought abound. Few people have done more to correct this than Donald McKim, a theologian whose writings on Calvin span decades. This collection shows John Calvin, the pastor, seeking to encourage believers in faith and practice. Each day begins with a selection of Scripture and a brief portion of Calvin’s commentary followed by additional comments by McKim. The Scriptures span both testaments and display Calvin’s exegetical insight and deep piety.

This is a devotional book; more importantly, it is a practical book. The author helpfully offers probing questions such as: “What does Calvin’s thought mean for my own life of faith? What does Calvin’s thought mean for the life of the Church? What are the ways Calvin’s thought can be enacted in the life of the congregation as well as my own life?” Even the title for each daily selection is an evocative invitation to deeper reflection on faithful practice. The novelist Marilynne Robinson frequently names John Calvin as the most influential theologian who ever lived, whose thought continues to reverberate in our time. This collection is one simple way to reflect on God’s word with Calvin day by day. Early in a new year is always a good time to try on a new practice, so why not gather a friend or two in your congregation – or, for pastors, a few colleagues – to read and discuss these reflections?