Saturday, May 28, 2016

For All the Saints: John Calvin

The Protestant reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) is honored today on the Episcopal calendar and yesterday on the Lutheran calendar. Of course, Calvin was the French theologian who established and systematized Reformation theology, in the form later known as Calvinism, that stressed God's absolute sovereignty. He wrote works like his famous Institutes as well as commentaries on the scriptures and many sermons. He led the Protestant community in Geneva, supported refugees, opposed heretics (Michael Servetus being the tragic example), and encouraged the Reformation in Europe. Congregational, Reformed, and Presbyterian denominations trace their histories to Calvin. Here is Calvin's church, St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva, which my wife Beth and I visited in 2015.

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