Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Learning from others

Yesterday I began reading Randall Zachman's John Calvin as Teacher, Pastor and Theologian. I read the first chapter called 'The Life and Work of John Calvin'. My first response was that it was a strange title for a chapter because not even a large volume could contain all that could be said. Nevertheless I found it a helpful chapter containing an interesting summary of Calvin's life.

One detail that the author stressed was Calvin's determination to learn from other scholars and leaders, and not only with regard to what they said and wrote. In addition to noting defects in their opinions Calvin also observed some good and weak points in their characters and resolved to imitate the good and avoid the bad as he functioned as a teacher of the church.

Without claiming any importance, I wondered what good and bad points others see in me. Also I am going to observe the good features I see in others and imitate them when I can, and will hope also to avoid copying unhelpful attitudes that others may show. Learning does come by listening to others, but it also comes by watching them as well.

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