In Chapter 1 the author wants to provide insight into the historical and theological context of John Calvin’s Institutes. Beach reflects on Calvin’s prefatory address to King Francis I of France and his defence of the Protestant faith against cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto, Bishop of Carpentras in southern France. He also provides a sketch of Calvin’s life and the nature of the Institutes.
The Introduction is a reminder of the historic Synod Utrecht of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands in 1905 and the contributions of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck’s theology to the debates at that time. Bavinck’s book on calling and regeneration is placed in its historic and theological context.