Essay, Research Paper: John Calvin

Biographies

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There are many people in history who have made a very big impact on their
culture, times, and or religion. John Calvin was by far one of these few great
people. He had such a big influence in the time which he lived from 1509 to
1564. John Calvin devoted almost his whole life to the promoting of
Protestantism and made such a difference that his impact is still seen today in
Christianity.
Calvin was born in France and was the second son in his family of five
brothers. He grew and then decided to go to the famous University of Paris to
study to be a priest. His father then had a conflict with the bishop who
employed him so he then turned to the study of law. While he was studying in
Paris he came across the writings of Martin Luther. His cousin then introduced
him to the ideas of reformation. Protestantism began gathering momentum all over
Europe. Then by 1533 Calvin began getting involved with the movement. That year
Calvin had his salvation experience. He wrote about it later and stated, “God
subdued and brought my heart to surrender. It was more hardened against such
matters than was to be expected in such a young man.” Calvin then knew to full
fill his place with God he would have to turn away from the Roman Catholic
church, so that is exactly what he did.
His first attempt was November first that year. He gave a speech just like
Martin Luther’s, attacking the church and demanding a reform. He figured that
if he spoke to the people and educated them on Protestantism then they would be
ready to make changes in the Roman Catholic church. It did not turn out his way
at all. This resulted in anti-Protestant protests all over Paris, forcing him to
flee for his own safety. He roamed from place to place and then ended up in
Basle, Switzerland. This is where he started his writing. You see John Calvin
was considered a quiet, timid natured man. The kind of man who would never fight
in disputes. In his time there he really got to do the things he wanted to
accomplish out of life. These were to study and learn about God and his holy
word.
After this he went to Geneva after getting kicked out for his teachings he
got invited back to help turn the city around spiritually. He never held a
political office in Geneva but he ruled with strictness and sin was punished. He
had laws passed to promote Christian behaviour. Persecuted Protestants fled from
all over Europe to reside here.
One last thing Calvin is known for is his theology. This is put together in a
Calvinism. The ideas of the Calvin doctrine are men are completely unable to
save themselves with their own works. Salvation is a matter of God’s choosing
those who will be saved, and that God chooses without any consideration of a
man’s good works. If someone is chosen of God, there was no way they could
ever reject Christ or fail to endure to the end of their Christian life.
Finally, he taught that Jesus died only for the people who God chose. This is
called limited atonement and is one of Calvin’s most controversial doctrines
in Calvinism.
As you can see John Calvin was truly a great man. Through his writings,
speeches, and Calvinism he really reached his goal in life to learn about God
and his holy word. John Calvin devoted almost his whole life to the promoting of
Protestantism and made such a difference that his impact is still seen today in
Christianity.

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