John Calvin (1509 1564)

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John Calvin (1509 1564)

  1. 1. John Calvin (1509-1564) Most famous written work: Institutes of the Christian Religion
  2. 2. Calvin was born into a French family of Roman Catholic faith. <ul><li>His father advised him to study law which the young John accepted and undertook in 1532. </li></ul><ul><li>However, in 1533, Calvin experienced a “sudden and unexpected” conversion. </li></ul>
  3. 3. War broke out! <ul><li>Francis I and Charles V committed forces to war, so Calvin moved to Geneva, Switzerland. </li></ul><ul><li>In Geneva, Calvin served as pastor to French refugees. He continued his studies; lectured, preached, wrote; completed IoCR. </li></ul>
  4. 4. His law training helped Calvin to address issues of the reformed church: <ul><li>These issues included: church governance, social organization (like that of a city) modeled upon a literal reading of scripture, and strict moral code. </li></ul><ul><li>Genevans kicked Calvin out of town for that last bit. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, Calvin incorporated church into city government. </li></ul><ul><li>Refugee Protestants from around Europe found a home in Geneva. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Calvinist theology? <ul><li>Literal and explicit reading of scripture; REJECTED anything not found therein. </li></ul><ul><li>Four levels of church organization: pastors, teachers, elders, deacons. </li></ul><ul><li>Doctrine of predestination: God knows the future, so He knows who’s going to be saved. </li></ul>
  6. 6. “NO,” said others. <ul><li>Salvation is the product of human choice. Free will? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Doctrine of the ELECT, or the Doctrine of Living Saints <ul><li>A saint is a living, breathing human being guaranteed salvation NO MATTER what he does on earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Churches, therefore, should only admit other living saints via “voluntary association.” Societies choose their membership, and these members – of their own free will – choose to accept membership in association. </li></ul><ul><li>Such are the basics of civil society. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Leadership of the Swiss Reformation (1484-1531) <ul><li>Revealed the democratic institutions of Luther’s “justification by faith alone” </li></ul><ul><li>1522 – opposed Lenten observation </li></ul><ul><li>Anabaptists wanted EVEN MORE radical reform: ZWINGLI differed from Calvin on sanctifications of Lord’s Supper and baptism; thus, Calvin composed his Consensus Tigurinus in 1549 to establish his position </li></ul><ul><li>Zwingli vs. Calvin: who can “out-reform” the other? </li></ul>

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