This book explains why. The author, David W. Hall, is one of the foremost experts on Calvin’s influence in the modern world. This little gem of a book can be read in a couple of hours at most, and is an easy read. There were quite a few eye-openers for me, at least. What amazed me was the evidence he marshals for the following: the vast influence of Calvin’s thought through the Genevan Academy, the printing presses, and preaching; the sheer volume of Calvin’s output (which I knew about, but was struck afresh at just how much God enabled him to accomplish); the human-ness of John Calvin (contrary to popular opinion, John Calvin was a loving, gracious, generous man who inspired life-long loyalty in his friends, and gave it in return); his ideas were responsible for the American Revolution and the freedoms we enjoy (Hall is especially well-equipped to show us this tracing out of Western liberty). In short, this is the perfect book to give to Calvin despisers. The one myth that is not dealt with in this book is the Servetus story. However, you can listen to David W. Hall debunk that myth in the interview that Christ the Center folks had with him.
Also included in this book is a brief biography as well as several tributes from various people of different denominations, who have appreciated Calvin’s contributions. This is the perfect book to give to someone who wants something more than Wikipedia, but something less than a major tome. The book has 112 pages.