John Calvin: Word/Person of the Week

John Calvin (1509-1564)

One of the principal Reformers of the 16th century. Father of the theological system of Calvinism and was a student of the thought of St. Augustine. Heavily influenced by Martin Luther, Calvin held to the bondage of the will and championed justification by faith alone, along with sola Scriptura and the other solas of the Reformation. He differed with Luther as to the nature of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Where Luther argued for infant baptism and infant faith, Calvin argued for infant baptism but not for infant faith. Calvin’s teaching on baptism is called Covenant Baptism. Where Luther held to the real presence of Christ – real meaning Christ’s true body and blood – in the Lord’s Supper, Calvin held to the real presence – real meaning that Christ was actually there – just not in His human nature (body and blood) – of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. Calvin taught mainly in Geneva, Switzerland. The Presbyterian Church is the most direct descendant of Calvin’s theology as its founder, John Knox, was a student of Calvin in Geneva and brought Calvin’s theology back with him to Scotland and birthed the Presbyterian Church.
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