By writing this book Richard Muller has done a wonderful service, both for serious students of Calvin as well as the casual reader who has the slightest interest in the Reformer's thought. Muller presents Calvin's thought in its own context, demonstrating in the process how often his writings have been misconstrued by modern scholars asking modern questions of texts that were written over four hundred years ago.
One of the keys to Muller's work is his use of original documents, whereby he unfolds the relationship between the various genres in Calvin's body of works. He shows that Calvin's magnum opus, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, serves a limited purpose in his corpus, and must be carefully read in the context of both his sermons and his biblical commentaries. This insight alone clears away generations of false conclusions, and reveals details that other scholars have failed to note. Further, Muller provides important insights into the development and structure of The Institutes.
This book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand Calvin. It is also a model for how documents from earlier ages of church history ought to be read and studied. No serious student of church history should be without it.