By anyone’s measure John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, especially the mature 1559 edition, is an historically significant Reformed treatise that has greatly shaped the ministerial practice of Protestant churches worldwide. In it Calvin extensively addresses the doctrine of the church (Book 4, Chapters 1-12). This lengthy section within Calvin’s Institutes, entitled “The True […]
Calvin’s Doctrine of the Church
Who possesses the authority to admit a person to the Lord’s Supper or to ban the unrepentant sinner from it—the civil magistrates or the officers of Christ’s Church?
Mention the name ‘John Calvin’ in a crowd and oftentimes it will elicit remarks of contempt on the one extreme and deep admiration on the other. Simply stated, some people abhor him while others adore him!
John Calvin’s Early Years: Birth and Preparation (1509-1531). 1509 Born July 10, 1509 in Noyon, France (2nd of six children). 1513 John’s mother, Jeanne, dies and his Father remarries (exact dates are uncertain). 1521 On May 19th receives benefice from the altar of Gesine in the cathedral of Noyon. 1523 Sent by his Father in August to study at the University of Paris.
“What kind of man was John Calvin (1509-1564), the Reformer of Geneva? Many people have very strong opinions about him, but few have ever read anything he actually wrote, or heard any of the fascinating stories from his life. Consider this compelling event from December 12, 1547: Calvin’s bold entry into the Council of the Two Hundred during the midst of a deadly sword fight! “
John Calvin (1509-1564) is best known as a distinguished theologian and leading Protestant Reformer. However, it must be remembered that he functioned first and foremost as a pastor to the congregation of believers at Geneva for 25 years, and at Strasbourg for a brief interlude of 3 years.
During the balmy summer days of July, 1536 the twenty-eight year old John Calvin (1509-1564) was on his way into exile in Strasbourg, Germany. As he quickly sped along the stone-paved main highway with his younger brother Anthony and his half-sister Marie perhaps he asked himself, “Why are we fleeing?” . . .