Some Basic Info On John Calvin

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Rippon, Mar 15, 2006.

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  1. Rippon

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    My theological orientation is not derived from what Calvin wrote . I have said before that it was years after coming to the conviction that the doctrine of grace was biblically true that I even bought any of Calvin's writings . I , of course , had seen quotes of his but never owned a single copy of anything of his .

    So one can try to dismantle what has been known as Calvinism attempting to tear him down . But that doesn't destroy the biblical truths he was famous for declaring .

    He was a man with feet of clay . He is not on the same par as Scripture itself . But he was a much better at explaining it , and giving the sense than most . Many who make a go at discrediting him haven't taken the time to really examine his work .

    Many before him wrote on things he is associated with . His mentor at Martin Bucer ( 1491-1551)was strong on election .We might rightly be called Bucerites . Luther 1483-1546) was a stronger predestinarian than Calvin .Did you know that William Tyndale was of the same convictions ? Read his preface to the book of Romans for a sampling . John Wycliffe ( 1324-1384 ) needed no help from Calvin . His mentor Thomas Bradwardine ( 1290 - 13-- ) wrote something called " In Defense of God and Against The Pelagians " . I could go on and on with examples like Zwingli( 1484-1531 ) and Peter Martyr Vermigli ( 1499-1562 ).

    Calvin ( 1509-1564) was a Frenchman . He never met Luther but may have written him . We know he corresponded with Melanchthon . He wrote to most of the Reformers . John Knox actually studied at John Calvin's feet .

    Calvin wrote the Institutes Of The Christian Religion at just 26 , but he regulary enlarged it over the years . His last edition was finished a couple years before his death .

    He did not want to go to Geneva . But William Farel threatened him with God 's curses if he did not go . Both of them were kicked out within 2 years . The next three years in Strassburg were some of Calvin's happiest . He married Idelette de Bure . she was a widow of a prominent Anabaptist .Calvin had supposedly converted them from their errors . Calvin to raise her children who did not live long . They had just one child together -- who died in infancy . After 9 years of marriage his wife died .

    I can't verify this , but I read somewhere that Calvin did not even become a citizen of Geneva until the late 1550's .

    Calvin, no matter what his name conjures up for you was known as the theologian of the Holy Spirit .

    He was the first , I believe to introduce Christ as Prophet/Priest/King in a 3-fold office .

    He was an evangelist for 3 years in France .

    He had at least 12 major sicknesses to contend with . Most of them gave him considerable pain .

    Did you know that Geneva under his leadership sent out about 160 missionaries in 1561 alone ?

    These are just some facts that are useful to know .

    [ March 15, 2006, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: Rippon ]
     
  2. Ransom

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    Rippon said:

    Calvin ( 1509-1564) was a Frenchman . He never met Luther but may have written him .

    We do know that Luther wrote Calvin! When Cardinal Sadoleto attempted to take advantage of Calvin's exile to attempt to persuade the Genevans to come back into the Roman fold, Luther got hold of Calvin's response, and sent him a complimentary letter.

    I can't verify this , but I read somewhere that Calvin did not even become a citizen of Geneva until the late 1550's.

    Not a citizen. Geneva had three classes of residents: the citoyens (citizens) were those who were born and baptized in Geneva; the habitants were resident aliens who could not take part in the civic life of the city; and the bourgeois, who were habitants who had been permitted to purchase a franchise (and hence the right to vote).

    Calvin, as a Frenchman, was a habitant. He was permitted to serve as the city's pastor only because there were no qualified locals. The civil governnment of Geneva was hostile to Calvin until 1555, when increasing numbers of French residents with the vote elected a council that was sympathetic to him. Calvin was permitted to purchase a franchise and become a bourgeois in 1559.

    He had at least 12 major sicknesses to contend with . Most of them gave him considerable pain .

    And people wonder why he had such a reputation for crankiness. [​IMG]

    Did you know that Geneva under his leadership sent out about 160 missionaries in 1561 alone ?

    In fact, Calvin was the first to send out overseas missionaries to the New World: he sent a delegation to South America. Unfortunately, the mission failed because of persecution by the local Catholics.
     
  3. Rippon

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    Thanks for the additional info , Ransom .

    Also , when he was begged to come back to Geneva in 1541 ,he was again very reluctant to do so . Farel had to do the same number on him .

    People don't realize that he was not a combative person like Luther . He did not relish the thick of battle or strife which he knew would befall him upon his return to Geneva .
     
  4. Ransom

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    Also , when he was begged to come back to Geneva in 1541 ,he was again very reluctant to do so .

    Can you blame him? Those few years in Strasbourg were probably the happiest of his life: he got married, he wasn't constantly combating city hall, and he had a chance to do some real scholarship, which (as you pointed out) was his real passion.

    But even so, we can see the hand of providence in his exile. The first time he went to Geneva, he was an inexperienced young man. When he returned, he was armed with the experience that he had gained in assisting to organize the church in Strasbourg.
     
  5. Rippon

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    This piece of info is in response to Humblesmith -- post #5 of the thread called : "The Rise Of Calvinism And Evangelism" .
     
  6. skypair

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    Rip,

    Dave Hunt claims that Calvin NEVER gave a testimony of his own salvation. Have you found one?

    skypair
     
  7. Martin

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    ==Sorry to drop in on this, but since when is Dave Hunt a scholar on Calvin or any of those people? I believe it was on the Bible Answer Man broadcast that Hunt said he did not study those people. Then, around a year later, he published his book "What Love Is This". I am not sure how one becomes a scholar on such a large body of work so quickly. I imagine that Hunt is depending upon secondary sources for his claim.

    Dave Hunt, or his source, may have overlooked an important passage in Calvin's work. That would be his Preface to his commentary on the Psalms. In that preface, Calvin gives a tiny glimpse into his conversion experience.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Thanks for the reminder, Martin. I read that somewhere, too.
     
  9. Jarthur001

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    That is not the only lie Dave Hunt has told.

    You may want to read...
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc8.iv.viii.iv.html

    In other words...read someone other then hunt and rogers. (you have been mislead)
    My guess is you will still not believe the truth but follow blid those that have lied to you.

    Now meet Theodore Beza (1519–1605).
    From his Vita Calvini (Latin) at the Close (Opera, XXI. 172).

    Beza knew the man. Hunt lied to you, and you believed him.
     
  10. Bible-boy

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    I moved this thread from the Baptist Theology and Bible Study Forum here to the General Baptist Discussions Forum because the OP focuses on facts about John Calvin. It is a fine topic to discuss. :thumbs: However, it just does not quite seem to fit solely within the realm of the Baptist Theology and Bible Study Forum. :godisgood:
     
  11. donnA

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    Since Calvin lived in the 1500's, we can not have any idea if he ever gave a testimony of salvation, and we can't ask anyone 500 years later. I mean my testimony isn't in writting. So 500 years from now people could claim I never gave a testimony of salvation. And of course that wouldn't be true.
     
  12. MNJacob

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    Calvin formed a search committee to find him a wife.

    Seriously,

    :)
     
  13. skypair

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    That was years ago, friend. But also, this is EXACTLY the "wisdom" Calvin brought to writing "The Institutes." A couple years consideration -- a couple years since his professed "conversion" (nothing about repentance -- just "enlightened") If you don't believe Hunt, what does that say for you "gullibility" regarding Calvin?

    Well, "imagine" again. Even his protagonist, James White, in the book DEBATING CALVINISM made only mild protestation.

    Could you post it? That is what I was asking rip for.

    skypair
     
  14. skypair

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    Get real, donna. Calvin wrote VOLUMES about his "spirituality" and beliefs. Yes, he did leave a record of his "conversion." But, comparing with Augustine's, I am unconvinced by either (unless I find some better testimony).

    skypair
     
  15. skypair

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    To Beza's comments and the impression they make first: 1) NO man can know of another's salvation. To Beza, Calvin lived a life a deserving asn any Pharisee. 2) As I recall, Beza and Calvin had a "falling out." Quote me something after that happened.

    I want to draw your attention to the facts that 1) there is NO personal decision -- not even after he was "enlightened" -- in that profession. Everything is "God did this" and "God did that" for ME in regards of salvation. Get this through your heart --- you are not a puppet to God's will!! If you were, you wouldn't sin, especially now that you are saved!!

    No, God's will "as it is in heaven" is yet to come, my friend. You better make some of your own decisions while it is still today, 2Cor 6:2!!

    And please show me where Calvin testifies to this. I want to see it still.

    skypair
     
  16. Jkdbuck76

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    Wow. I wonder what the questionaire was like?
     
  17. Martin

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    ==It is not that I don't believe Hunt, it is that I have found his material to be faulty on point after point. For that reason I don't put a lot of weight into anything he says (and not just on this issue).

    Calvin does not use the term "repentance" in the section below but repentance is certainly present.

    ==I am not James White and I don't always agree with James White. I believe that those who publish books claiming to be authorities on a matter should use as much primary material as possible. Secondary material should mainly be used to support a view or claim or to compare and contrast.

    Certainly:

    "For although I follow David at a great distance, and come far short of equaling him; or rather, although in aspiring slowly and with great difficulty to attain to the many virtues in which he excelled, I still feel myself tarnished with the contrary vices; yet if I have any things in common with him, I have no hesitation in comparing myself with him. In reading the instances of his faith, patience, fervor, zeal, and integrity, it has, as it ought, drawn from me unnumbered groans and sighs, that I am so far from approaching them; but it has, notwithstanding, been of very great advantage to me to behold in him as in a mirror, both the commencement of my calling, and the continued course of my function; so that I know the more assuredly, that whatever that most illustrious king and prophet suffered, was exhibited to me by God as an example for imitation. My conditions no doubt, is much inferior to his, and it is unnecessary for me to stay to show this. But as he was taken from the sheepfold, and elevated to the rank of supreme authority; so God having taken me from my originally obscure and humble condition, has reckoned me worthy of being invested with the honorable office of a preacher and minister of the gospel. When I was as yet a very little boy, my father had destined me for the study of theology. But afterwards when he considered that the legal profession commonly raised those who followed it to wealth this prospect induced him suddenly to change his purpose. Thus it came to pass, that I was withdrawn from the study of philosophy, and was put to the study of law. To this pursuit I endeavored faithfully to apply myself in obedience to the will of my father; but God, by the secret guidance of his providence, at length gave a different direction to my course. And first, since I was too obstinately devoted to the superstitions of Popery to be easily extricated from so profound an abyss of mire, God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, I yet pursued them with less ardor. I was quite surprised to find that before a year had elapsed, all who had any desire after purer doctrine were continually coming to me to learn, although I myself was as yet but a mere novice and tyro." SOURCE
     
  18. Martin

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    ==Considering that we are hundreds of years after the fact, and considering that both men claimed to be Christians, and were and are considered great theologians, I am not sure we can claim with any level of seriousness that we are "unconvinced" of Calvin's "record of his conversion". We can't judge a person's salvation by their testimony even today. A person who is truly saved might not have a testimony about their salvation experience because they don't remember it or because of confusion over false doctrine. Other people don't have powerful testimonies andl others don't word their testimonies the way we would (etc). Point? We can't always "judge" a person's salvation by their testimony. A person's salvation must be "judged" by their confessiong of faith in Christ and their lifestyle. A word of caution: We cannot be the final judge on someone's salvation. No doubt there are many people who sound and look saved but who are not (Matt 7:21-23, 23:25-28). It is true that when we enter heaven we may very well be surprised by who is not there.
     
  19. Jarthur001

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    After what happen? Show me where it happened. BTW...that quote was after Calvin had died. :)

    BTW...that was Calvins last will i quoted. :)

    Yet you believe Hunt a man that hates Calvin, and lived 500 years later and has lied to you already. Now that's good logic.

    Did I call it or what????

    You have been programmed to hate Calvin and will always no matter if the truth hits you in the face.


    Why would Calvin ever agree with you? Don't you get it? You are believing people that mislead you. Does that not concern you? Get over your Rogers/Huntism. Why not follow the Bible as Calvin did.
     
  20. donnA

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    You get real yourself, I'm not sure since when anyone has to prove their salvation to you, you can not judge someone's salvation based on the fact you don't think their testimony is good enough.
     
    #20 donnA, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2008
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