John Calvin Lite

So, have you ever thought about reading John Calvin’s four volume, 1734 page work, The Institutes of the Christian Religion? I am guessing probably not. I am a seminary graduate and a pastor, and I have not read the whole thing.

Calvin’s Institutes is a classic in Christian literature, and yet most Christians are completely unfamiliar with it. The size of the task is daunting. Not many of us feel we can read 1734 pages of theology. (Remember, Calvin had to write all those pages!)

What if you could get a taste for the book and its contents by reading 100 brief paragraphs which summarized the whole? What if you could do it for free online right at your computer? Well, you can. The Rev. William Pringle assembled his “One Hundred Aphorisms, Containing, Within a Narrow Compass, the Substance and Order of the Four Books of the Institutes of the Christian Religion.” Designed as a reference to the work, the aphorisms also provide a good summary and introduction to the Institutes.

If you are up for a little theology today, try reading them at one of the following links:

Advice: Don’t try to read them all at one. Just read a few paragraphs at a time, then stop and think about them. Then come back later and read some more.


  1. DAVID FOWLER says:

    Hey –

    If you do have the time to read the whole thing, I recommend checking out the two volume edition (still the full version, just two volumes instead of four) that is translated by Ford Lewis Battles and published by Westminster Knox. The ISBN is 0664220282. I did read this cover-to-cover years ago and found it to be an amazing read. This particular translation seems to flow very well.

  2. Ray Fowler says:


    Thanks for the tip on the two volume work. I see CBD has a copy at a good price. Looks like it would make some good evening reading for a season.

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