• Institutes of the Christian Religion

  • By: John Calvin
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 67 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (394 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. Highly influential in the Western world and still widely read by theological students today, it was published in Latin in 1536 and in his native French in 1541. The book serves as an introductory textbook on the Protestant faith for those with some previous knowledge of theology and covers a broad range of theological topics from the doctrines of church and sacraments to justification by faith alone and Christian liberty. It vigorously attacks teachings which Calvin considered unorthodox, particularly Roman Catholicism to which Calvin says he had been "strongly devoted" before his conversion to Protestantism. The overarching theme of the book - and Calvin's greatest theological legacy - is the idea of God's total sovereignty, particularly in salvation and election. Institutes of the Christian Religion is highly-regarded as a secondary reference for the system of doctrine adopted by the Reformed churches, which is commonly referred to as Calvinism.

Public Domain (P)2013 Blackstone

What listeners say about Institutes of the Christian Religion

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  • LP
  • 09-13-15

A Must Read/Listen For Reformed Christians!

What did you love best about Institutes of the Christian Religion?

That's a difficult question to answer. The Institutes are much easier to understand than I thought. I thought this was only to be read by theologians, but as a lay person, it's very easy to understand. Bob Souer did an excellent job of narrating! So, his smooth voice and even levels made it enjoyable to listen to. Good job Bob!

What did you like best about this story?

This is a non fiction book, so, it's not a story....

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved the Doctrines of Grace and Calvin's writing on prayer.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, because it runs 67 hours :) But I listen to it several times a week.

Any additional comments?

Wonderful narration! This book is not for everyone. I would highly suggest that people who are leery of "Calvinisn"--read this book, or any book that Calvin writes. It's very Biblical. It changed me from a Synergist to a Monergist. I am sold that the Doctrines of Grace are Biblical.

47 people found this helpful

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Excellent voice for an excellent classic.

If you could sum up Institutes of the Christian Religion in three words, what would they be?

The Christian Faith

Any additional comments?

This audio split into 8 sections, but the chapters are split up quite well. Since the Institutes has a well-defined indexing (book:chapter:section), it shouldn't be too hard to jump to where you want to go.

The narrator's voice was perfect for this text.

36 people found this helpful

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You can tell Calvin was a lawyer

You can see the Calvin had trained as a lawyer by his arguments. He is clear, brings to bear lots of evidence, and makes sure to refute all the counter arguments. If you were not already aware you may notice the heavy reliance for important doctrinal points on the books of Isiah and John primarily. They are both often quoted in the text, and given the overall length of the work, that works out to a great number of quotations. I see his point, at times, was to try and reconcile the irreconcilable. Modern scholarship has moved away from the idea of single divinely inspired authors so there are points where the Bible is inconsistent. I do think Calvin does a marvelous job trying to make sense of it all. I also appreciate his references back to Greek sources, and he appears to have some familiarity with Biblical Greek. It's an interesting creation. It felt, at times, repetitive, and I think that partly comes from the thoroughness of the work. Given its length, I don't recommend this to the average reader -- you have to really want to read this book.

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Institutes

what a wonderful book. If you can only read one big book in your life, make it the Institutes

7 people found this helpful

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Every Reformed Christian read once to understand.

Are you Reformed? In order to have first hand knowlage listen and know what it means to think the thoughts of Calvin. His thoughts are clear renderings of Paul's therefore useful to our understanding of what it means to be a true, born again, spirit filled, elect and redeemed Christian. Every sermon that I have taken to heart seems to have had its origin in Calvin's words.

6 people found this helpful

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Beautifully presented truth of the Christian religion

There's no doubt that John Calvin understood the tenets of the Christian faith, and his exegesis of the scripture leaves very little doubt to the fact of his conclusions about its practice. I recommend this book to all Christians, especially to those who have had a tug in their hearts about teachings about Catholicism and other denominations that have let their fleshly understanding and religiosity take preeminence over the clear word of God and its simplicity. Reading the Bible would never be the same after reading this.

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Not a true review

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

While the institutes are a must read, this book is very hard to navigate. In every chapter he reads through the contents which is tedious and doesn't work as well in audio as it may in written format

Who was your favorite character and why?

There aren't any characters

What three words best describe Bob Souer’s performance?

Underwhelming

Was Institutes of the Christian Religion worth the listening time?

I couldn't finish it

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent literature, but read robotically.

The Institutes is an incredible collection of theology and apologetics by a brilliant scholar and pastor. Unfortunately this reading is a bit dull. It is hard to tell whether it is a human or a computer generated voice.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent rendition of The Institutes!

While this is a very long endeavor for an audiobook, it is well worth the time investment.

4 people found this helpful

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Immerse your mind in sound doctrine

Intelligent prose, when guided by the Holy Spirit, is a beautiful thing that brings healing to your mind and nourishment to your bones.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Seville
  • 05-18-17

Recommended

Whether you are a Calvinist, Reformed, evangelical or the complete opposite, Calvin's Institutes is the classic systematic theology book you need to read.

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  • Tobias
  • 04-06-19

nice

it's a difficult book to do by audio, I had to rewind a lot. But super helpful and well read!

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  • Rowan Crouch
  • 01-05-17

Well worth listening to.

I just finished listening and highly recommend to others. Easy to listen to and a great book by Calvin explaining and defending core doctrines of the Christian Faith and reformed theology in particular. I will listen again.

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