The piety of John Calvin and its implications for the Presbyterian Church in Malaysia
This study does not pretend to be a definitive or exhaustive treatment of the topic. The purpose of the study is to explore the practice of Reformed piety as it occurs in Calvin's Institutes, devotional writings, commentaries, and personal reflections. I situate the piety of John Calvin in its broader systematic framework, maintaining that a comprehensive analysis of his piety requires a consideration of both God's requirements for, and our practice of, piety, and to apply these insights to the life of the Presbyterian Church in Malaysia today.
Chapter one of this study contains a brief discussion concerning historic and contemporary Christian approaches to spirituality today, including Malaysia. Chapter two defines the concept of piety in John Calvin. Defining piety is not an easy task, and the word spirituality in the modern context can be quite nebulous. However, based on an interaction with historic and current studies of Calvin's writings, the definition expounded in this thesis attempts to be both biblical and in line with the Reformed tradition.
Chapter three draws upon supplementary literature to examine Calvin's personal history as an essential component of his spiritual development, in order to get a better understanding of his p iety. Chapter four examines Calvin's teaching on the practice of personal piety whereas Chapter five discusses his teaching on corporate piety. Finally, in Chapter six these findings or teachings, (e.g., reliance on prayer, the use of Scripture and the primary role of the Psalter) are applied to the life of Christians of the Presbyterian Church in Malaysia.