Biography: John Calvin

The reason for my talking about John Calvin lately is that I was reading a biography of him. Williston Walker wrote this one and emphasized Calvin’s organizing role in the Reformation.

He makes a point of saying that Calvin was not very original, he copied Augustine, Bucer and Luther. Where Calvin shone was in his ability to organize and summarize the new Protestant Faith.

Walker gives Calvin the benefit of the doubt on everything, which is his prerogative, and it was by no means a hagiography. It cracked me up that he often referred to Calvin as being “strong-willed.” That’s funny.

Of all the Church History biographies I’ve read, and I’ve read quite a few in my years, Calvin is probably the most deplorable character I’ve ever read about, outside of most of the popes. However, there were many in Calvin’s day who addressed him as “The Protestant Pope.”

This was not a nice guy. I have little respect for anything he did. I will give him props for his Institutes. I don’t agree with them entirely, but it was a fine piece of writing. Outside of that, I have little use for the guy.

One thought on “Biography: John Calvin”

  1. It would be far better to label ourselves a follower of Christ only, than to identify ourselves as a follower of “any” man, regardless of his merits or lack there of.

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