This book is an abridgement of Calvin's much larger "Institutes." Tony Lane has paraphrased sections of Battles' translation into crisper, more idiomatic English so as to make Calvin's writing accessible to the contemporary reader. I first read this book as a 16 year old and I found no difficulty in understanding it! The guiding principle of Lane's abridgement is that Calvin's positive theological statements and arguments are, more or less, left in tact, while the (sometimes vindictive) polemics that Calvin indulged in are removed. I personally like this feature, because it enables one to see more clearly how edifying and pastoral Calvin's theology is. Calvin's extensive polemics, in this respect, can have the influence of making the modern reader lose sight of this. Lane follows the standard referencing system for the "Institutes" used in the Battles' translation. This is extremely useful, because when Lane indicates that he has abridged Calvin in a certain chapter or section, one can then go to the Battles' version to see what he has left out! Lane gives the reader enough of the "Institutes" so that one can grasp the flow of Calvin's arguments and penetrate to the centre of his theology. After reading this, I got the impression that I hadn't read a disjointed series of abstracts but a COHERENT arguement. It's Lane's ability to maintain the structure of Calvin's overall argument that makes this abridgement especially good. This book serves as an excellent entry into Calvin for the general (or busy) reader. It's short enough so that the attention span is not strained. As a text for a seminary or college course on Calvin's theology, it's a book that students could realistically read through in a semester. This book, taken together with the abridgements of many of Calvin's commentaries in the Crossway Classic Commentaries series, would provide an accessible (and relatively comprehensive) grasp of Calvin's theology and exegesis for the interested pastor or layperson.