Heroes: John Calvin (1 of 5)

[I am going to put up a short and brief series of five of my heroes of the faith. It will include, in this order: John Calvin, George Whitefield, George Muller, Jim Elliot, and CS Lewis. This is something I did for my floor originally, but I thought it might be helpful and serve as a short biography.]

A young John Calvin

1509 –1564


Calvin was born in Northern France (Noyon) and was well-educated in Theology at the University of Paris. His father wanted him to take Law, but God had other plans for this brilliant thinker. He began to pick up Luther-like theology while there, which was illegal and suppressed (He and Luther would become counterparts working to reform the Church and put the centrality back on the Bible) Calvin was forced to flee from Paris because of such growing beliefs, and God again shifted Calvin’s plans and had him put his roots down deep into Geneva, Switzerland. He became the greatest Theologian of the Reformation and while not as loud as Luther, he may have had a more profound influence on the rift with the Catholic Church.

He wrote incredible works, his most important being the Institutes of the Christian Religion, which was edited by him multiple times and went from a booklet to the size of an encyclopedia. It was a defense of the doctrines of the Reformers, namely: The centrality of Scripture over the Papacy, the centrality of Salvation through Christ alone over works, and the centrality of God’s Sovereignty (“Calvinism”) over semi-Pelagianism (“Free Grace”).

His hero and greatest influence was Saint Augustine.


“We owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from Him alone, and has nothing of man mixed with it.”


3 thoughts on “Heroes: John Calvin (1 of 5)

Add yours

  1. I like this phrase:

    “while not as loud as Luther, he may have had a more profound influence on the rift with the Catholic Church.”

    I have always been impressed by silence (or quietness) that loudly speaks!
    We don’t need to be a Luther and yet have a powerful influence.

  2. Thanks Andres! Tyndale is another one who has really impressed me by his hard work and almost complete silence. We know so little about Tyndale’s biography because he never talked about himself! It is a testament to the power of humility.

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