LUTHER AND CALVIN ON GRIEF AND LAMENT: Life-Experience and Biblical Text

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This book examines Luther and Calvin on grief and lament and discovers through a close reading of letters, commentaries, and sermons that the reformers actually encourage righteous lament in times of pain and desolation. This means that the feeling of lament stems from a pure heart and is disposed to rest in God’s unfailing love, even at such times. It concludes with some pastoral insights gleaned from the reformers’ writing. Overturns the belief that Calvin’s rigorous arguments for providence and life after death essentially prevent any further consideration of lament in theology.


“Parsons draws out attention to the world of the Reformers, a world of grief which many of us could hardly begin to imagine, and a clearer view of how we might engage with our experiences of grief today. The book acts as a call for honesty and integrity in our relationship with God in the face of the unavoidable griefs of life.”
Dr. David Cohen,
Vose Seminary

“Grief and lament are great tests of our theology, as they are of our humanity. In this work Mike Parsons opens up the theme of grief and lament in Luther and Calvin with humanity and sympathy, with intellectual and scholarly integrity, and with personal and pastoral sensitivity.”
Peter Adam,
Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral,
Melbourne, Australia

“Grief and lament are, unfortunately, a natural part of Christian life.”
Brett Muhlhan,
Perth Bible College

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