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The 500th birthday of John Calvin, celebrated in 2009, occasions a look at how others have remembered Calvin’s life and thought on previous anniversaries of his birth. Calvin and the Reformation: Four Studies commemorated in 1909 the 400th birthday of John Calvin with articles by Émile Doumergue, August Lang, Herman Bavinck, and B. B. Warfield. These articles were compiled by William Park Armstrong on behalf of the Princeton Theological Review into this singular volume, which was reissued in book form for a general audience. Calvin and the Reformation: Four Studies evaluates the status of Calvin studies, explores his historical impact, and examines the influence since the Reformation of the dominant theological themes found in Calvin’s sermons, commentaries, and the Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Calvin and the Reformation: Four Studies contains:
Emile Doumergue was born in 1844. He studied in Geneva between 1865–1868 and received his doctorate in 1882 and an honorary doctorate in 1901. He became the assistant pastor at a Reformed church in Paris beginning in 1872.
Doumergue wrote prolifically throughout his lifetime. He edited Le Christianisme au XIX siècle (Christianity in the 20th Century) and contributed to Foi et Vie (Faith and Life). He also wrote extensively in French, German, Dutch, and English on the life and thought of John Calvin, including a 7-volume magnum opus, Jean Calvin, les hommes et les choses de son temps (John Calvin, the Men and the Events of His Time). Between 1880–1919 he served as Professor of Church History at the theological seminary at Montauban. He remained an ardent defender of Reformed theology throughout his lifetime.
Emile Doumergue died in 1937.
August Lang was born in 1867, and held a faculty position at the University of Hall-Wittenberg. He wrote prolifically on the life and thought of John Calvin, including his 1897 publication of Die Bekehrung Johannes Calvins, a comprehensive account of Calvin’s conversion.
August Lang died in 1945.
Herman Bavinck was born in 1854 in the Netherlands. He studied at Kampen Theological Seminary and the University of Leiden, and graduated in 1880. Bavinck returned to Kampen in 1881 as the newly-appointed Professor of Dogmatics. In 1902, Bavinck moved to Amsterdam to teach at the Free University, and was also appointed to the parliament in the Netherlands.
Along with Abraham Kuyper, Bavinck figured prominently in the nineteenth century Dutch Calvinist revival and contributed to the resurgence of Reformed theology. He was a prolific writer, and published numerous books and articles. His most well-known publications include his 4-volume Reformed Dogmatics and The Philosophy of Revelation, also available from Logos.
Herman Bavinck died in 1921.
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was born in 1851 in Lexington, Kentucky. He studied mathematics and science at Princeton University and graduated in 1871. In 1873, he decided to enroll at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was taught by Charles Hodge. He graduated from seminary in 1876, and was married shortly thereafter. He traveled to Germany later that year to study under Franz Delitazsch.
After returning to America, Warfield taught at Western Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary). In 1881, Warfield co-wrote an article with A. A. Hodge on the inspiration of Scripture—a subject which dominated his scholarly pursuits throughout the remainder of his lifetime. When A. A. Hodge died in 1887, Warfield became professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he taught from 1887–1921. History remembers Warfield as one of the last great Princeton Theologians prior to the seminary’s re-organization and the split in the Presbyterian Church.
B. B. Warfield died in 1921. Many of his writings are available from Logos as part of the 20-volume B. B. Warfield Collection.