John Calvin 1509 – 1564

John Calvin was a French theologian, pastor, and reformer who lived in the 16th century. He is best known for his role in the development of the system of Christian theology known as Calvinism, which has had a significant impact on the Protestant Church.

Calvin was born in Noyon, France in 1509 and was educated at the University of Paris, where he studied law. However, he became interested in theology and eventually decided to pursue a career in the ministry. In 1536, he published his first book, “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” which became a seminal work in the development of Calvinism.

Calvin’s theology was based on the belief in the sovereignty of God and the total depravity of humanity. He believed that God predestined certain individuals to salvation and others to damnation, and that this decision was made independently of human actions or choices. This doctrine, known as predestination, was a major point of contention among the reformers and was one of the main reasons for the split between the Calvinists and other Protestant denominations.

In addition to his theological contributions, Calvin was also known for his emphasis on the importance of education and the role of the church in society. He established a system of government in Geneva, Switzerland, which became a model for other Protestant cities. He also established schools and a system of education that emphasized the study of the Bible and the classics.

Calvin’s influence extended beyond the borders of Switzerland, as his teachings were embraced by other reformers and spread throughout Europe and the New World. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Calvinism became the dominant form of Protestantism in Scotland, the Netherlands, and parts of France, Germany, and England.

In conclusion, John Calvin was one of the most important figures of the Protestant Reformation, and his teachings continue to shape the theology of the Protestant Church today. His emphasis on the sovereignty of God and the total depravity of humanity, as well as his commitment to education and the role of the church in society, have had a lasting impact on the development of Christianity.