Calvin’s Ladder – Julie Canlis

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calvins ladderThe book is a recommendation by the Steering Committee.  John Calvin is so severely misunderstood.  The common error made by many is to try and link the work of John Calvin with the Scholasticism of the Calvinists.  The two schools of thought could not be so different.  The mind of John Calvin was to hunger for the truth in contrast to the corruption that existed in the institutional church that wielded so much power in its day.  What John Calvin did was to access the work of the ancient church to form the foundation for much of what he wrote.

Whereas Calvinism’s claim to separation from God and not inclusion is the theme of John Calvin’s work, Julie Canlis shows how this totally misrepresents what he was all about.  Julie traces the theme of participation in the ancient church and shows us how Calvin takes this up and makes the heart of what his theology is all about.

In 2007 the Templeton Foundation awarded Julie Canlis the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise.  In 2011, Julie was also presented by Christianity Today, the Award of Merit in Theology and Ethics.



Chapter 1: Ladders of Ascent: A Brief History
Chapter 2: Creation:  The Ground and Grammar of Ascent
Chapter 3: Christ: The Ascending One
Chapter 4: The Spirit: The Eucharistic Ascent
Chapter 5: The Ascending Vision of Irenaeus
Chapter 6: Reforming Ascent: Irenaeus, Calvin and Christian Spirituality
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
Calvin’s Works

Comments on the rear cover:

Jeremy Begbie (University of Cambridge)
“It is rare to find a book that is historically rigorous, theologically rich, lucidly written, and at the same time pastorally engaging: this book by Julie Canlis is all of these. A superb exposition of a theme at the very heart of the Christian life.”
George Hunsinger  (Princeton Theological Seminary)
“In this groundbreaking work Julie Canlis offers a bold, new interpretation of Calvin. Alongside his favorite and well-known metaphors of the Labyrinth and the Abyss we must now unexpectedly place the Ladder. Calvin affirms this metaphor only to undermine and reinvent it at the same time. Canlis gives us a striking interpretation of how Calvin and the Reformation understood the doctrine of salvation — an interpretation of wide ecumenical significance.”
Eugene H. Peterson (Regent College)
“Calvin comes into clear and compelling focus in Julie Canlis’s Calvin’s Ladder as a theologian and pastor who insists that the Christian life at the core is a matter of Christ drawing us into a full participation in all the operations of the Trinity and the community of the church. The academic precision on offer here is in the service of lived, not just argued, theology.”