In this episode, Gordon Govens unpacks John Calvin’s understanding and frequent use of the word testimony. Explore how testimony functioned for individuals and the community in Calvin's Geneva, and why truth-telling matters for church and society.
The Distillery is a podcast that explores the essential ingredients of book and research projects with experts in their field of study. Learn what motivates their work and why it matters for Christian theology and ministry.
Gordon Govens is Western Theological Seminary’s Faculty Fellow for the 2017-18 academic year. He is currently finishing his dissertation Testimony in John Calvin’s Doctrine of God: The Convergence of Law and Biblical Theology in his Religious Epistemology and His Work As Pastor and Jurist. Govens’ research focuses on the history and theology of the Reformation, its continuing legacy and its medieval Roman Catholic ancestry. As a former practicing attorney and business person, he draws on his corporate and legal training and his theological education to craft a unique perspective on the Reformation. Principal interests are the intersection of law, theology and social culture across the span of history, the church’s impact on the development of secular laws and jurisprudence, the interrelationship between church and state, and the use of philosophy as a methodology for historical analysis.
As a teacher, Govens aims to inspire students to examine historical events and people with a balance of self-reflection, critique and empathy. He encourages students to draw on their distinct experiences as they commit to analyzing history objectively. He is committed to developing strategies for promoting the value of history amongst a broader audience beyond the academy.