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John Calvin - The Image of Medieval Christian Reformation

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There two main figures who come credited with the Reformation: Martin Luther, who took initiative in turning the tidal wave of a world in ancient beliefs came to an end by giving individuals the capability to stand forth as (look a better word later). The second figure, arguably by many goes to no other than, John Calvin whose works, “regarded as the most significant religious work of the sixteenth century.” Calvin will be praised as the one of the most important figure of the second half of the Reformation due to his dedication and diligence towards the expansion of the reformed Christian Religion.

John Calvin, born in France on July 10, 1509. Calvin gathered Luther’s teaching and merged it into his own, this religious movement would take on the name Calvinism. Calvin, only eight years old when Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the Church door. The though process of Calvin emerged from his staying in the city of Geneva, in which Calvin developed his movement. Calvin had an education which he pushed forward as he, “had considerable interest in the development of an authentic Christian theology, and was well aware of the importance of issues of personal piety and spirituality.. To Calvin theology, “offered a framework for engaging with public life.” Calvin has a task at hand. To unify and straighten what Luther had begun and continue to stay on a basis of the Bibles scriptures.

The Reformation came forth in many different steps, originally engulfed with total sovereignty through the Catholic Church, whom practically had a monopoly of Christianity as a whole. Luther came in with his teachings, and Lutheranism came into play where the teachings of Luther, which caught wave and later Luther’s religious movement created Protestants, which then became reformed through John Calvin’s teachings in what is today called Calvinism.

The basis of Calvinist beliefs derives from the basis that individuals have no choosing on who gets admitted into Heaven, as God already predestined everyone’s lives. In comparison to Luther’s teaching, salvation can be acquired through faith alone. Calvinism teaches that salvations not possible to everyone and only a few seats to heaven are attainable. While Lutheranism teaches that salvations attainable to any person. Calvinist belief that God has supremacy on all actions done by a person. In this belief lies the reason behind why only a select few got seat saved at the doorways of Heaven as its Gods will for specific people to serve his needs. Lastly Calvinist believe that Christ comes to light through the sacred sharing of bread and wine, as Lutheranism believe that Christ always presides in spiritual form.

This age, in which Christian tradition came solely into pleasing God. Condemend those who had to work a labor job, where considered a second-rate Christians, those who had to work where exhausting time that could be put onto pleasing the lord. In Calvin’s views, “God places individuals where He wants them to be, which explains Calvin’s criticism of human ambition as an unwillingness to accept the sphere of action God has allocated to us”. Due to this, social aspects where irrelevant to the views of Calvin due to believing that God places people where he pleases, and a person has no saying in the path God Chooses for a person. Anyone thinking they where superior than a human where going against Gods will, as God created everyone equal. According to Calvin, “All human work is capable of “appearing truly respectable and being considered highly important in the sight of God.” No matter the task at hand, from the most minute to largest, God placed every person in a position, and it’s a human’s task to fulfil Gods will, by not doing said task one goes against the lords will. This strong belief derives from the fourth sola, Solus Christus, through Christ alone. And the Fifth sola, Soli Deo Gloria. In order to repay a debt given by Jesus Christ and God one must excel in all aspects of life and become superior in any way possible.

Calvin had a very strong will towards uniting our society in order to transcend in the name of God. As such the ultimate praise to god, shows by working on Gods behalf. As the follower of Calvin, William Perkins put it,” The true end of our lives is to do service to God in serving of man.’ (McGrath). Calvin has a stern believe on St Paul’s directive, “ If someone does not work, then he should not eat’. Calvin perceived that it came to an individual’s duty out of recognition to God to serve all people in respect to Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ one can in one form or another repay their debts. Great shame arrives from a person who does not allow their lives to intertwine with that of Gods plan. Social aspects went against gods will.

Calvin, “was instrumental in furthering the Protestant faith during the reformation. The idea of predestination was defined by Calvin. Movements such as Puritanism, capitalism and representative democracy are in part attributed to the theologian”. Calvin knew in order to set forth the footwork of a proper religion there must be a leader, and Calvin took it upon him self to become that person. Calvin, a well-educated man, knew the importance of putting full faith that all people should have a deep knowledge of their Bibles. Calvin set forth to Geneva, in 1541 to lead a ministry. He created a system in which, “Ordinances there were to be four offices in the church: pastors (ministers or teaching elders), teachers (doctors), elders, and deacons. Candidates for the ministry’. Calvin only allowed those with the deepest of knowledge to become a part of this industry, before allowing people a position they would, “be examined in two main areas: on their doctrine and on their morals.’  Anyone who wished to become a minister had to have a “a good and sound knowledge of scripture, an ability to communicate it clearly to people in an edifying way, and an understanding and commitment to the Reformed doctrines held in Geneva’.

In order to acquire the knowledge necessary to be able to execute this task to the finest of capabilities, there were a few routes people could take between 1531 and 1559. The first step, students were required to serve 20 weekly services. The second step, students could attend daily Bible study sessions taught by Calvin and doctors of the church. Lastly, they could participate in weekly meetings served by a mixture of ministers, pastors and teachers. This school of ministry, “intended to be comprehensive, communal, and continuing. In short, Calvin believed that it took a whole church to raise a competent minister!” 

Calvin wanted first class people to preach the word of God, and in order to achieve this goal, Calvin knew he must set forth a first-class ministry. Through the years the brightest of minds would come and attend the teachings of Calvin. And spread the word of God, through the scriptures of the Bibles. The main lesson through Calvin simply put lies in, “ this: John Calvin affirmed the necessity of theological education.”  Calvin knew that the key to success relied on education and in order to have set a prestigious institution, Calvin made it the responsibility of the institution to create exceptional ministers. The theological education, used to this day came from the examples left behind from Calvin, “The academy was a remarkable achievement and it became a pattern for Protestant theological education in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and in Scotland–including St. Andrew’s, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, after which our own Presbyterian theological schools in Canada were originally modelled.    

To conclude, in order to become a society that prospers, humanity must learn from its own mistakes, the sixteenth century became notorious through its rigorous religious movements took the world by its feet, in order to create a perfect playground in the name of God, and Jesus Christ. Through the actions such as Luther, Calvin and the basis of the Bible. The knowledgeable passageway of spiritual revolution shifted from the hands of Corrupt practices such as the Catholic Church, to the spiritual awakening of people’s mentality impacts today’s society in all aspects of life. Because of the actions set forth by reformers such John Calvin who highlighted the dishonorable practices of the Catholic Church, set an example of the stepping stone humanity will set forth to a modern era, which will impact all future aspects of life by invalidating misconduct brought upon those with power.

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John Calvin – the Image of Medieval Christian Reformation. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
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