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items tagged with john calvin

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DVDs

  • Zwingli and Calvin

    1994

    Accounts of two famous reformers of Switzerland, Zwingli and Calvin.

    AWARDS

    • Bronze Plaque - Chris Awards 1995
    • Certificate of Excellence - US International Film & Video Festival 1995

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  • The Reformation Overview

    1995

    The Reformation Overview is a set adapted from six films which between them have won over thirty prestigious international film awards. Included are Wycliffe, Hus, Zwingli, Luther, Calvin, the Sattlers, and Tyndale.

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Magazine Issues

Articles

15 Nov 2016

Recommended resources

by The Editors | Issue 120

BOOKS

Read about John Calvin ’s life, theology, and influence in Alexandre Ganoczy, The Young Calvin (1987); François Wendel, Calvin (1995); Bernard Cottret, Calvin: A Biography (2000); Richard Muller, The Unaccommodated Calvin (2001), Christ and the Decree (2008), and Calvin and the Reformed Tradition (2012); Christopher Elwood, Calvin for Armchair Theologians (2002); David Hall and Peter Lillback, eds., A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes (2008); Michiel A. van den Berg, Friends of Calvin (2009); Herman Selderhuis, John Calvin: A...

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15 Nov 2016

Seeking and finding

by William J. Petersen | Issue 120

JOHN CALVIN knew what he wanted in a wife: “This only is the beauty that allures me: if she is chaste, if not too fussy or fastidious, if economical, if patient, if there is hope that she will be interested about my health.” But after three potential engagements fell through, he wrote to Farel, “I have not found a wife and frequently hesitate as to whether I ought any more to seek one.” When he stopped seeking, he found. 

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15 Nov 2016

Pastor of Geneva

by Olivier Fatio | Issue 120

CALVIN was pushed into becoming a pastor one fine day in 1536 by Guillaume Farel. Why did Farel take an interest in this 27-year-old lawyer, humanist, and self-taught theologian? Because for some months, the cultured public could speak of nothing other than Calvin’s Christianae religionis institutio (1536), what we call in English the Institutes

That first stay in Geneva ended unfortunately; the government drove Calvin and Farel out at Easter 1538. Calvin went to Strasbourg, where Martin Bucer asked him to take care of a community of...

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14 Nov 2016

Words to ponder from Calvin’s Institutes

by John Calvin | Issue 120

title page of Calvin's Institutes

OUR feeling of ignorance, vanity, want, weakness, in short, depravity and corruption, reminds us, that in the Lord, and none but He, dwell the true light of wisdom, solid virtue, exuberant goodness. We are accordingly urged by our own evil things to consider the good things of God; and, indeed, we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with...

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14 Nov 2016

Editor’s note

by Jennifer Woodruff Tait | Issue 120

Why do you go to the church you go to? The preaching? The music? The children’s program? Because your next-door neighbor does? As our last two issues devoted to the Reformation have explored, sixteenth-century reformers set out to renew the church and ended up dividing it. Even so, they might be surprised today that we sometimes change denominations as quickly as we change favorite flavors of ice cream. How did this happen?

With this third issue in our Reformation series, we begin to answer that question as we explore what scholars call...

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26 Oct 2016

Another accidental revolutionary

by Jon Balserak | Issue 120

MISSIONARIES SENT INTO THE COUNTRY under assumed names, taking obscure mountain passages in an effort to elude detection by the authorities along the border, provided with false papers and sent out secretly to their destination: sound like North Korea in the twentieth century? No—France in the 1560s. 

Facade of Geneva church

secret agent men

From miles away in Geneva, John Calvin (1509–1564) and Theodore Beza (1519–1605) were discipling French Calvinists. They created and fostered Reformed communities devoted to the Genevan vision by smuggling books on Reformed...

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21 Nov 2015

Robust instruction

by Jennifer Powell McNutt | Issue 116

IN THE FALL OF 1530 , Protestantism began to make headway in the French-speaking areas of Europe when a fiercely passionate, uncompromising, red-haired Frenchman by the name of Guillaume Farel led the Swiss city of Neuchâtel to embrace the “evangelical” cause (as people in the sixteenth century termed the spread of Reformation ideas).

As once-honored medieval Catholic devotions were trampled underfoot, Farel began to turn his sights to the independent republic of Geneva (in modern-day Switzerland). By the middle of the decade, he succeeded...

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18 Aug 2014

John Calvin reminds readers to keep their eyes fixed on God’s guidance

by John Calvin | Issue 110

IT IS ENOUGH if we know that the Lord’s calling is in everything the beginning and foundation of well-doing. And if there is anyone who will not direct himself to it, he will never hold to the straight path in his duties. Perhaps, sometimes, he could contrive something laudable in appearance; but whatever it may be in the eyes of men, it will be rejected before God’s throne. Besides, there will be no harmony among the several parts of his life. 

Accordingly, your life will then be best ordered when it is directed to this goal. For no one,...

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14 Feb 2003

Jonathan Edwards: A Gallery — The Mind Shapers

by Stephen J. Nichols | Issue 77

Solomon Stoddard

(1643—1729)

While Edwards learned how to preach from Puritan sermon manuals, he learned most from the “Connecticut River Valley School of Preaching.” This informal school had a faculty of two: Timothy Edwards and Solomon Stoddard, Jonathan’s father and maternal grandfather, respectively.

The young Edwards’s grandfather wielded an impressive influence. Dubbed the “Pope of the Connecticut River Valley,” he was held in such veneration that in his old age (tradition has it) a crude highway was built from Boston to Northampton...

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15 Aug 2001

Pleading the Cause of Christ

by John Calvin | Issue 71

TO HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY, the most mighty and illustrious Monarch, Francis, King of the French, his Sovereign;

John Calvin prays Peace and Salvation in Christ.

Sire,—When I first engaged in this work, nothing was farther from my thoughts than to write what should afterwards be presented to your Majesty. My intention was only to furnish a kind of rudiments, by which those who feel some interest in religion might be trained to true godliness. And I toiled at the task chiefly for the sake of my countrymen the French, multitudes of whom I...

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30 Nov 1989

The Reformer Saint and the Saintly Reformer

by W. Stanford Reid | Issue 24

THE FRENCH GENIUS of Geneva, who greatly shaped modern Protestantism, may well have written his greatest works feeling the presence of the French genius of Clairvaux peering over his shoulder.

Because of Bernard’s theological and ecclesiastical point of view, one need hardly be surprised that both Luther and Calvin regarded him as a forerunner of their own movement. Luther expressed his appreciation of Bernard by calling him one of “the greatest doctors of the church,” but did not seem to make much use of his thinking and guidance in his...

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31 May 1987

From the Archives: Using the Present Life

by John Calvin | Issue 14

The great Reformer warned of both dangers: extravagance and asceticism. Both ignore the fact that it is God who gives the material things of life. This is excerpted from  Calvin’s Institutes, Book III, chapter 10 .

1. Double Danger: Mistaken Strictness and Mistaken Laxity

BY SUCH ELEMENTARY INSTRUCTION, Scripture at the same time duly informs us what is the right use of earthly benefits—a matter not to be neglected in the ordering of our life. For if we are to live, we have also to use those helps necessary for living. And we also cannot...

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30 Nov 1986

John Calvin: Recommended Resources

by the Editors | Issue 12

Reprint of Original Edition of Institutes:  Eerdmans Publishing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) advises they are re-issuing the first edition of Calvin’s Institutes in book form.

Radio Drama:  Moody Broadcasting Network produced a series of radio dramas on Calvin as part of their STORIES OF GREAT CHRISTIANS program. It is available on eight audio cassettes. For information write: Moody Broadcasting Network Tape Ministry, 820 N. LaSalle Dr., Chicago, IL 60610.

Documentary Films:  E.O. Television of Holland has produced a documentary film...

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30 Nov 1986

From the Archives: On the Advantages of an Inventory of Relics

by John Calvin | Issue 12

We don’t normally look to Calvin for biting satire, but few things got him so riled as the tendency of the Church to veer from the worship of Christ. Thus, he produced a most entertaining treatise, excerpted here.

ADMONITION

IN WHICH IT IS SHOWN HOW ADVANTAGEOUS IT WOULD BE FOR CHRISTENDOM THAT THE BODIES AND RELICS OF SAINTS WERE REDUCED TO A KIND OF INVENTORY, INCLUDING THOSE WHICH ARE SAID TO EXIST, AS WELL IN ITALY AS IN FRANCE, GERMANY, SPAIN, AND OTHER COUNTRIES.

Augustine, in his work, titled, On the Labour of Monks , complaining of...

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30 Nov 1986

From the Archives: To Luther

by John Calvin | Issue 12

Calvin was a prolific letter-writer. Reprinted below is the entire text of a letter sent to Martin Luther, by way of Philip Melanchthon; along with some of Calvin’s writings. Melanchthon never showed the letter to Luther.

Philip Melanchthon  [1497–1560] 
Despite the animosity that later existed between Lutherans and Calvinists, Melanchthon and Calvin were dear friends.

January 21, 1545

To the very excellent pastor of the Christian Church, Dr. M Luther, my much respected father.

When I saw that my French fellow-countrymen, as many of them as...

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30 Nov 1986

From the Archives: Calvin the Reluctant Recruit

by John Calvin | Issue 12

Calvin did not seek out the leadership role in Geneva; indeed, it appears he would have much preferred to avoid it. The first selection below is taken from his preface to the commentary on the Psalms. The second selection refers to his return to Geneva for the second period and is found in a letter to Farel.

Whenever I call to mind the wretchedness of my life there, how can it not be but that my very soul must shudder at any proposal for my return? I will not mention the anxiety by which we were continually tossed up and down and driven to...

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30 Nov 1986

The Servetus Affair

by the Editors | Issue 12

Michael Servetus (1511–1553)

THERE WAS ONE TRAGIC EVENT during Calvin’s tenure in Geneva which brought him not only heartache, but also condemnation. If Calvin is remembered for anything beyond his doctrine of predestination, it was his part in the trial of Michael Servetus. No one should excuse Calvin for consenting to the execution of this confessed heretic, but one should understand that men of the sixteenth century viewed blasphemy as a capital offense. This was no less true of Catholics than of Protestants.

Servetus had been condemned...

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30 Nov 1986

John Calvin: One of the Fathers of Modern Democracy

by W. Stanford Reid | Issue 12

OVER THE YEARS, various theories have arisen concerning John Calvin’s political views. Some have viewed him as a virtual dictator, “the pope of Geneva.” Others have felt he was a master of dissimulation who always got his own dictatorial views across by subtle means. Yet others have suggested that he was one of the founders of modern democracy. Which view, if any, is correct?

To understand Calvin’s views on political government, one must understand the political context of his day. Democratic forms of government were on the decline. Even...

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30 Nov 1986

It Was Both A Horrible Decree and Very Sweet Fruit

by Frank James III | Issue 12

WHAT WAS RUNNING THROUGH JOHN CALVIN’S MIND as he contemplated the doctrine of predestination? Was he locked in a trance, eyes rolled back, imagining a somber God lurking in the mists of eternity, arbitrarily picking and choosing who would be saved and who would be damned?

No, Calvin’s thoughts about predestination did not originate with morbid and abstract speculations, as some might suppose, but with a pastor’s concern for the people who filled the pews of his church every Sunday. As a pastor, Calvin noticed that people responded...

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30 Nov 1986

Calvin and Missions

by the Editors | Issue 12

GENEVA WAS not only a refuge to Protestant fugitives, but, under Calvin’s influence and direction, it became the hub of a vast missionary enterprise. The Venerable Company of Pastors was established as Geneva’s missionary agency, sending an army of missionaries to Italy, Germany, Scotland, England, and especially to Calvin’s homeland, France.

The Genevan missionaries traveled by night, hid in attics and false rooms behind chimneys, and used obscure roads. Once they arrived at their intended destination, they would join together with other...

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30 Nov 1986

John Calvin: A Gallery of Calvin’s Supporters and Opponents

by the Editors | Issue 12

Olivetan [1503–1538]


Olivetan, which means “Midnight Oil,” was a nickname acquired because of his habit of studying late into the night. His real name was Pierre Robert, and he was Calvin’s cousin. According to Beza, Olivetan was the one who set the evangelical fires burning in Calvin’s heart. 

Although they knew each other in Calvin’s hometown of Noyon, the cousins became more intimately acquainted while studying in Paris and Orleans. Already a Protestant, Olivetan aroused the suspicions of the authorities, and he was forced to flee to...

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30 Nov 1986

John Calvin: Christian History Timeline

by the Editors | Issue 12

DURING HIS LIFETIME, Calvin was already recognized as a major figure in Europe.

His life, thought and work came to influence church structure and practice, international affairs, political realignments, and the definition of orthodoxy.

Below is a chronology of significant dates and events in Calvin’s life.

1509  Calvin was born in Noyon, France on July 10.

1523  Fourteen-year-old Calvin goes to Paris to study.

1528–29  Calvin goes to Orleans and then Bourges to study law.

1531  Calvin’s Father dies.

1532  He publishes his first work—a commentary...

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30 Nov 1986

Idelette: John Calvin’s Search for the Right Wife

by William J. Petersen | Issue 12

IT IS HARD TO SAY when the quest began. Until he turned 29 and took the pastorate of the French refugee church in Strasbourg, he hadn’t much time to think about marriage. Besides that, he once wrote, “I shall not belong to those who are accused of attacking Rome, like the Greeks fought Troy, only to be able to take a wife.” So he was in no hurry.

But Strasbourg was a bit of a refuge for Calvin. Shortly after he had arrived in the city, he moved in with Martin and Elizabeth Bucer. Martin was the warm-hearted pastor of the church of St....

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30 Nov 1986

Pastor of Geneva

by Olivier Fatio | Issue 12

ONE IS ACCUSTOMED to speaking of Calvin as the Reformer of Geneva. It would be more precise, perhaps, to call him the pastor of Geneva, because Calvin was above all a pastor, and his work as a reformer was simply the extension of his pastoral ministry.

In fact, Calvin was not really prepared for pastoral ministry. Everyone knows how he was pushed in to it one fine day in July, 1536, by Guillaume Farel. Why did Farel take an interest in this 27—year—old, a lawyer, humanist, and self-taught theologian? Because for some months, the cultured...

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30 Nov 1986

John Calvin: Did You Know?

by the Editors | Issue 12

TO SIGNIFY HIS WILLINGNESS to sacrifice all to the service of the Lord, Calvin’s seal  pictured a burning heart in a hand  and was accompanied by this motto: “Promptly and Sincerely in the work of God.”

Calvin’s early training was as a lawyer and his first published book  was an academic commentary  on the ancient philosopher Seneca.

Although neither were Protestants, both Calvin’s father and his brother Charles were excommunicated  from the Roman Catholic Church.

Calvin was not granted citizenship  in Geneva until five years before his death in...

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Products

  • Christian History Magazine #120: Calvin, Councils, and Confessions $5.00

    Christian History Magazine #120: Calvin, Councils, and Confessions

    • Magazine
    • 2016
    • 55 Pages

    A few decades after Luther's stand for reform spread across Europe, a quiet scholarly priest made a fateful stop in Geneva. Read John Calvin's story along with the story of the divisions, martyrdoms, victories, and disappointments that marked the last half of the sixteenth century in this third issue in the Reformation series of Christian History.

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  • Reformation Fold-Out Timeline $1.99

    Reformation Fold-Out Timeline

    • Other
    • 2016
    • Christian History Institute

    The most important events from a century of reform. Unfolds to 11'' x 31''.

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  • Christian History Magazine #118: The People's Reformation $5.00

    Christian History Magazine #118: The People's Reformation

    • Magazine
    • 2016
    • 51 Pages
    • Christian History Institute

    It didn’t take long for the ideas of Luther, Zwingli, and many others to ignite a sea change in society at large: peasants revolting, priests and nuns marrying, church art destroyed, heretics on both sides persecuted by church and state, and a philandering king whose search for a male heir would birth the Church of England. Read about one of the most turbulent eras of all of history in issue #118, The People’s Reformation, the second in our Reformation series.

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  • Christian History Magazine- Reprint Bundle $18.00

    Christian History Magazine- Reprint Bundle

    • Magazine
    • 2015
    • Christian History Institute

    Featuring newly reprinted issues #12: John Calvin, #29: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, #33: Christianity and the Civil War, #69: Charles and John Wesley, #32: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, #28: 100 Most Important Dates, and bonus issue #50: The American Revolution.

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  • Christian History Magazine #94 - Building the City of God in a Crumbling World $5.00

    Christian History Magazine #94 - Building the City of God in a Crumbling World

    • Magazine
    • 2007
    • Christian History

    *LIMITED QUANTITIES AVAILABLE!* Christian History Magazine featuring Building the City of God in a Crumbling World

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  • Christian History Magazine #12 - Calvin $5.00

    Christian History Magazine #12 - Calvin

    • Magazine
    • 1986

    Christian History Magazine featuring John Calvin.

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  • Zwingli And Calvin $7.99

    Zwingli And Calvin

    • DVD
    • 30 Minutes
    • Documentary
    • All
    • 1994
    • Christian History

    This program covers the 16th century Swiss Reformation, its key centers of Zurich and Geneva, and its central leaders, Zwingli and Calvin—two theologians who led tumultuous lives.

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  • Reformation Overview (W/ PDFs) $19.99

    Reformation Overview (W/ PDFs)

    • DVD
    • 160 Minutes
    • Drama
    • All
    • 1995
    • Christian History Institute

    This series covers the key reformers: John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, The Anabaptists, and William Tyndale. Includes curriculum in pdf.

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