Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bio of John Calvin -This Week in Christian History for the week of July 7-13


On July 10 1509 John Calvin was born in France. Be broke with the Catholic Church, but eventually had to flee to Switzerland due to religious tensions. It was in Basel Switzerland that he published “The Institutes of the Christian Religion,” which became very influential in Protestant thinking. He was sent to reform the church in Geneva. One of his ideas had been to insist that all member of the church would have to take a vow of confession, but most had not done so yet and they didn’t want to force anyone. Also they didn’t have the Eucharist during the Easter services, which caused quite a tumult. This caused the City Council to reject his ideas.

Martin Bucer invited Calvin to Strasbourg, where he became the minister to a French church. Eventually Geneva became more cooperative and allowed him to lead. Calvin preached over 2,000 sermons when in Geneva, two sermons on Sunday and three other times a week. His sermons would usually last an hour and he did not use notes and although there had been some attempt at recording his sermons by secretaries, very little of these sermons survive.

Being one of the first protestant leaders, Calvin faced much opposition. A group, sometimes known as the Libertines, opposed Calvin from a different angle. They argued that if we were saved by grace then there should not be subject to ecclesiastic or civil authority. This group was composed of the wealthy and powerful, and harassed Calvin through his time in Geneva. With more French refugees coming into the city, Calvin’s political position improved and the Libertines tried to burn down a house filled with Frenchmen, but this backfired and they fled form the city or in some cases tried and killed.

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My new book, would you do what they did great Christian leaders from our past is now available to order from Amazon.com here is the link: Would You Do What They Did? - Great Christian Leaders From Our Past
It is also currently available at Barnes and nobles and should be available to order now or shortly from anywhere that sells books. The book is about Thomas Becket, Martin Luther, John Wesley and Francis of Assisi and is written in creative nonfiction style, I have excepts of the book here on my website williamdeanhamilton.net

Thank you for reading.