However, when considering only the impact of his theology there is no reformer that compares with Calvin. John Calvin was the theologian of the Protestant Reformation. God used Calvin to restore great truths which had been squashed by the Catholic church during the Dark Ages. His teachings especially on predestination were revolutionary in the 16th century and are still very controversial today.
Protestantism did not appeal immediately to everyone in Geneva. Some felt closer to French-speaking Roman Catholic Fribourg than to relatively patrician German-speaking Bern, and for many the theology of Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli was altogether foreign.
This situation was resolved by John… Life and works Calvin was of middle-class parents. He then returned to Paris. This movement, which antedates the Reformationaimed to reform church and society on the model of both classical and Christian antiquity, to be established by a return to the Bible studied in its original languages.
It left an indelible mark on Calvin. Under its influence he studied Greek and Hebrew as well as Latinthe three languages of ancient Christian discourse, in preparation for serious study of the Scriptures. But the movement, above all, emphasized salvation of individuals by grace rather than good works and ceremonies.
Because the government became less tolerant of this reform movement, Calvin, who had collaborated in the preparation of a strong statement of theological principles for a public address delivered by Nicolas Cop, rector of the university, found it prudent to leave Paris.
Eventually he made his way to BaselCalvin reformation Protestant but tolerant of religious variety. His beliefs before his flight to Switzerland were probably not incompatible with Roman Catholic orthodoxy.
But they underwent a change when he began to study theology intensively in Basel. Probably in part to clarify his own beliefs, he began to write. Calvin published later editions in both Latin and Frenchcontaining elaborated and in a few cases revised teachings and replies to his critics.
The final versions appeared in and In addition he wrote many theological and polemical treatises. Therefore, on discovering that Calvin was spending a night in Geneva late inthe Reformer and preacher Guillaume Farelthen struggling to plant Protestantism in that town, persuaded him to remain to help in this work.
The Reformation was in trouble in Geneva, a town of about 10, where Protestantism had only the shallowest of roots. Other towns in the region, initially ruled by their prince-bishops, had successfully won self-government much earlier, but Geneva had lagged behind in this process largely because its prince-bishop was supported by the neighbouring duke of Savoy.
There had been iconoclastic riots in Geneva in the mids, but these had negligible theological foundations. Protestantism had been imposed on religiously unawakened Geneva chiefly as the price of military aid from Protestant Bern. The resistance was all the more serious because the town council in Geneva, as in other Protestant towns, exercised ultimate control over the church and the ministers, all French refugees.
The main issue was the right of excommunicationwhich the ministers regarded as essential to their authority but which the council refused to concede.
The uncompromising attitudes of Calvin and Farel finally resulted in their expulsion from Geneva in May Calvin found refuge for the next three years in the German Protestant city of Strasbourgwhere he was pastor of a church for French-speaking refugee s and also lectured on the Bible; there he published his commentary on the Letter of Paul to the Romans.
There too, inhe married Idelette de Bure, the widow of a man he had converted from Anabaptism. Although none of their children survived infancy, their marital relationship proved to be extremely warm. During his Strasbourg years Calvin also learned much about the administration of an urban church from Martin Bucerits chief pastor.
Henceforth he was a major figure in international Protestantism. In September Calvin was invited back to Geneva, where the Protestant revolution, without strong leadership, had become increasingly insecure.
It also established four groups of church officers: These measures were resented by a significant element of the population, and the arrival of increasing numbers of French religious refugees in Geneva was a further cause of native discontent.
When Servetus unexpectedly arrived in Geneva inboth sides felt the need to demonstrate their zeal for orthodoxy. The struggle over control of Geneva lasted until Maywhen Calvin finally prevailed and could devote himself more wholeheartedly to other matters.
He had constantly to watch the international scene and to keep his Protestant allies in a common front.
Toward this end he engaged in a massive correspondence with political and religious leaders throughout Protestant Europe. He also continued his commentaries on Scripture, working through the whole New Testament except the Revelation to John and most of the Old Testament.
Many of these commentaries were promptly published, often with dedications to such European rulers as Queen Elizabeth, though Calvin had too little time to do much of the editorial work himself.
Committees of amanuenses took down what he said, prepared a master copy, and then presented it to Calvin for approval. During this period Calvin also established the Genevan Academy to train students in humanist learning in preparation for the ministry and positions of secular leadership.
He also performed a wide range of pastoral duties, preaching regularly and often, doing numerous weddings and baptisms, and giving spiritual advice. Worn out by so many responsibilities and suffering from a multitude of ailments, he died in Personality Unlike Martin LutherCalvin was a reticent man; he rarely expressed himself in the first person singular.
This reticence has contributed to his reputation as cold, intellectualand humanly unapproachable. His thought, from this perspective, has been interpreted as abstract and concerned with timeless issues rather than as the response of a sensitive human being to the needs of a particular historical situation.John Calvin is a principal figure of the Protestant Reformation.
Martin Luther, along with Henry VIII, separated Protestantism from the Roman Catholic Church, and Calvin's doctrines and theology created profound changes within the fledgling Protestant churches. To this day, Calvin's name is associated, for good and for ill, with the city of Geneva.
And Calvin's belief in God's election is his theological legacy to the church. The "whole sum of godliness" Calvin was born in in Noyon, France. John Calvin is a principal figure of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther, along with Henry VIII, separated Protestantism from the Roman Catholic Church, and Calvin's doctrines and theology created profound changes within the fledgling Protestant churches.
John Calvin, French Jean Calvin, or Cauvin, (born July 10, , Noyon, Picardy, France—died May 27, , Geneva, Switzerland), theologian and ecclesiastical statesman. He was the leading French Protestant Reformer and the most important figure in the second generation of the Protestant Reformation.
Watch video · John Calvin, Martin Luther's successor as the preeminent Protestant theologian, made a powerful impact on the fundamental doctrines of Protestantism.
John Calvin, French Jean Calvin, or Cauvin, (born July 10, , Noyon, Picardy, France—died May 27, , Geneva, Switzerland), theologian and ecclesiastical statesman.
He was the leading French Protestant Reformer and the most important figure in the second generation of .