>Was John Calvin a journalist?


I’ll be honest: I’ve lived my entire life without ever pausing to consider the concept of Calvin as a journalist. Calvin as Reformer? Definitely! Calvin as theologian? Of course! Calvin as churchman? Indeed! But Calvin as journalist? Not so much.

Until now.

Arnold Sikkema, over at the Reformed Academic blog, asked me to review a chapter in Calvin and Culture: Exploring a Worldview. Edited by David W. Hall and Marvin Padgett, Calvin and Culture is published by P&R and currently is available for $15.20 (US) from Amazon.

Sikkema is Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity Western University and a member of Langley Canadian Reformed Church. He and the other contributors to the Reformed Academic blog have asked several people to review individual chapters of Calvin and Culture.

The 13 chapters in the book exhibit a variety of professional expertise on Calvin’s connection to a wide range of cultural issues. Darryl G. Hart reflects on what Calvinism says to historians; John Witte Jr. writes about “Law, Authority, and Liberty in Early Calvinism”; William Edgar explores “The Arts and the Reformed Tradition”; while Leland Ryken discusses “Calvinism and Literature.” Doesn’t that sampling of authors and chapters pique your interest?

The penuntimate chapter, “Calvin as Journalist” by Warren Cole Smith, is the one I’ve been asked to review. Like Paul, I feel a little like “a child untimely born” (1 Corinthians 15:8).

I confess that I struggle to find nomenclature for my writing work. Am I a journalist? A reporter? A chronicler? A poet? An author? A wordsmith? Or simply a writer?

I have varying interests and numerous responsibilities. And in many different genres, I write much straw.

But if the primary characteristic required for a journalist is curiousity (as Warren Cole Smith points out in his chapter), then I qualify. And I’ll take this step forward in the works God prepared beforehand for me (Ephesians 2:10).

PS – The Lord willing, you’ll be able to read my review of Smith’s chapter on the Reformed Academic blog on March 18.

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