John Calvin the Man

Oct 22 21:24 2019 Bruce McLaughlin Print This Article

Did this brilliant scholar walk the talk?

Who was John Calvin the man?  Some pastors and scholars claim he was the most brilliant Christian theologian since Paul the apostle.  They extol his Institutes of the Christian Religion as the definitive work that most influenced their Christian formation.  Before enshrining him on the throne of theological greatness,Guest Posting however, should we not examine his life to see if he walked the talk?  If you were inclined to follow the leadership of Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Taze Russel, Joseph Smith, Sun Myung Moon, Charles Sherlock Fillmore, Victor Paul Wierwille or Herbert Armstrong, would you not first examine their fruit?  What about Martin Luther, Aurelius Augustinus, Jacobus Arminius and John Wesley?  Do any of these men get a free pass on behavior?  John Calvin secured a theocratic vice grip on Geneva in 1541.  Failure to join the “elect” aristocracy was hazardous to your health if you lived in Geneva.  Calvin had no love, compassion, patience or tolerance for anyone who objected to the teachings in his Institutes of the Christian Religion or who refused to submit to him personally.  Criticism of his teaching was considered heresy for which the sentence was death.  In the ensuing years, he presided over approximately 58 executions, 76 exiles and numerous commitments to prison.  Most of the hapless victims had dared to be critical of Calvin or his theology but the executions included about 34 women burned at the stake for witchcraft.  For the burning execution of Michael Servetus, Calvin suggested that his men use green wood for the fire because it burned slower.  Servetus was screaming as he was literally baked alive from the feet upward and suffered the heat of the flames for 30 minutes before finally succumbing.  John Calvin was a diabolically cruel dictator incapable of Christian kindness, mercy or love.  Do you believe God plucked a pitiless, ruthless, merciless and brutal man from the dust bin of history to resurrect and extrapolate a theology dormant for eleven centuries, a theology not found in the Christian Church for the first 400 years after Christ?  But if not God, what other powerful authorities might have been instrumental in the empowerment of John Calvin?

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