How To Read Calvin’s Institutes

Around a week ago I undertook a book I never suppsoed I’d dare pick up before.  That book is called The Insitutes.  Yeah, the one by John Calvin.  In Latin…

Just kidding about the Latin part, but I am reading Beverdige’s translation.  Here’s how I read it without just skimming and walking away confused.

First, if I find a word I don’t know (there a lots of those), I try to look new words up.  If you have a Kindle or some other digital or pocket dictionary, you really have no excuse for not looking it up.  Vocab is key.

Second, I outline everything by hand.  Each chapter of the book contains an outline.  They would normally look like this:  a), sgsdiufhsdkjh, b) sdkfjhsdkgjh, c), sdfhsdfkj, with the sdgjhkjh equaling the key point of each section.

So I would just write out the key point and then read that section, outlining whatever looked important.

Then I would write the second key point, look up new words, outline, and so on.

It’s actually a much more approachable book than I thought.

For those of you who don’t know everything, I reccomend that you follow that proccess (not PRO sess, it’s PRAH sess): look up the new words, and then outline.

What’s really cool about Step 2 is that by the end of reading the book, you have a simple, easy-to-understand outline that you can flip through.

Now, for those of you who don’t want to read Calvin, I am planning to offer brief outlines/summaries of each chapter.  You should be seeing those on the blog soon.

Anyone else reading/want to read the Institutes?

Start the conversation by commenting below!


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