Theodore Beza by Henry Martyn Baird

Banner of Truth has a knack for publishing great Christian biographies and for not caring if the subject is wildly famous or not. That in itself is encouraging as it reminds us that many have served the Lord wonderfully even though most are not especially noticed. In this case, Theodore Beza, is known in the sense of being a contemporary and even friend of Calvin while little more is known of him by most people. Calvin, loved by some and hated by others, is by any metric a seminal figure in Christianity. Beza didn’t blaze a trail but he did help establish it into a widely-traveled road.

Baird was easy to read. He was thoroughly impressed with Beza, but could admit when something wasn’t handled the best way. Beza’s story is primarily an academic career. In certain times of history that can have some drama and intrigue and this was one of those times. The ongoing interaction with government made that so.

Perhaps there isn’t as much piety or spirituality as in some recent Banner biographies like, say, Thomas Charles of Bala. That is not to call into question Beza’s piety or spirituality at all, just the focus of the biography. He came across as dedicated to his work and would unhesitatingly choose a course to follow what he believed to be right before the Lord even at great personal cost. It just seemed that his spiritual trials were all in his work, though a few personal trials were briefly mentioned, even as almost an afterthought. I’m not downgrading the biography, just explaining what to expect.

I suspect this biography will secure its strongest following among those who love Calvin and want to vicariously experience him again through Beza. This book will unquestionably recreate a portion of Calvin’s life as the lives of Beza and Calvin were prominently intertwined.

Banner never fails us on book quality and this lovely book is worthy to adorn your shelves for years to come.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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