“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
” ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what the father wanted? “
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. “
This novel is unlike any I have ever read. Filled to the brim with hard-rock historical facts, yet conveyed in such a fascinating way through the eyes of John Calvin’s servant, Jean-Louise Mourin, that you must turn the pages to see what happens next.
Not only is the book written from an unsympathetic viewpoint in that Jean-Louise hates John Calvin, but he… as you may guess from the title… betrays John Calvin and his companions.
What Douglas Bond has accomplished here is downright amazing. The historical research alone must have taken many, many years, including traveling to all of the sites mentioned in the book. And then to write this novel in such an intriguing way …
Just one of the amazing things about this book is the faithful rendering of the words of John Calvin. Douglas Bond took great pains to make sure everything that John says is from his own writings… As he says in his note to the reader:
Though it is fiction, the reader may accept Calvin’s words in dialogues, sermons, discussions, and debates with confidence… In nearly all places where Calvin speaks, I have drawn and shaped his words from his letters, commentaries, Institutes, and other writings.
Wow! There were so many times while reading this book that I wanted to go and put up a Facebook wall-post with something John Calvin said! The only thing that kept me from doing this was knowing that his words were slightly changed for cohesion and grammatical accuracy, with altered tenses and pronouns. Let me just say that I was greatly encouraged by Calvin’s words, and am now encouraged to “go to the sources” for myself.
I now have a much better knowledge of, and much higher appreciation for John Calvin’s life and the struggles he endured to serve God in the midst of the tumultuous reformation in France, Germany, and Switzerland.
This book is highly recommended for teens on up!