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Family Reformation (Brown)

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While the doctrine of salvation was being reformed during the sixteenth century, so was marriage, manhood, womanhood, courtship, child raising, fertility, abortion, and almost every area that touches family life.

John Calvin never wrote a book on the family, but he touched off a family reformation. He was the instigator of a massive restructuring of the most fundamental institution of society.

Like no other reformer, Calvin provided the exegetical precision that defined the terms for a biblical vision of family life. With crystal clarity he explained the details of the how the family had exchanged the glory of God for a lie. We should be thankful to this dear brother for excavating the gold mines of the Bible and exposing the raw biblical language and bedrock principles that form the doctrine of the Christian family.

This book seeks to communicate the main themes of Calvin's teaching on family life in his own words, using quotes from his books, sermons, letters, and other writings. In Geneva there were many victories in the battle to reform the family. Let me suggest that it may be difficult to win today s battles for the family unless we understand the victories of the sixteenth century.

Table of Contents:

Section I: Anatomy of a Family Reformation

1. Why is John Calvin on the Family Important Today?

2. The Inside Story

3. Seven Powerful Igniters

4. The Culture Clashes

5. The Defining Issues

Section II: Calvin Speaks

6. The Family as a Foundation

7. The Sweetness of Marriage

8. The ‘Strong Affection’ of a Husband

9. A Wife, the Distinguished Ornament of Man

10. The Preservation of Marriage

11. The Blessing of Children

12. The Salvation of Children

13. The Father’s Discipline of Children

14. Catechizing Children  

15. The Discipline of Children

16. How Parents Respond to Prodigals

17. Honor and Obedience Toward Parents

18. The Marriage of Children

19. The Family at Church

20. Modesty

21. Care for Widows

22. Infant Baptism

23. The Sanctity of Life

Section III: When Calvin Got it Wrong

24. Understanding Heroes and Their Flaws

Section IV: The Rest of the Story

25. An Effective Family Reformation

26. Hope for the Future



Scott Brown is an elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, NC, and the director of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches - a ministry dedicated to proclaiming the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life. He and his wife, Deborah, have been married for twenty-seven years and have four children.



"Scott Brown has done us yeoman service in culling the vast corpus of John Calvin in order to amass hundreds of valuable quotations on what this colossal Reformer had to say on marriage and family. What a fascinating treasure-trove Family Reformation is, addressing scores of subjects that are as pertinent today as in Calvin's own day! As always, Calvin is scriptural, practical, thorough, succinct, powerful, and honest. This may well be one the best and most helpful and family books on the market today. Use it as your devotional, and give a copy to your friends. Every conscientious family will be enriched by Calvin's wise advice." -  Dr. Joel Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary