John Calvin (1509-1564), was a French Theologian, he brought deep changes to the Reformation. By 1530, Went to Geneva to help the city split from the Roman Catholic Church. But Calvin’s reforms were not welcome by those in power, and he left the city in 1538. When he returned in 1541, he instituted radical reform into the church structure and exerted religious authority over the state. His reforms quickly became known as Calvinism and spread throughout Europe, where they heavily influenced Protestant reform. Known as the Father of Reformed Christianity, not meaning that he started the “Reformation” no that was more Martin Luther.
There was this very distinguished thing that made Calvin the time of reformist, where Luther wanted to just tweak some things about the Catholic church, those things he would modify or get ride of. Calvin wants to start from scratch if you will, a “truly’ reformed theology. A theology and a church that looks nothing like the Catholic Church of his day. Beginning with his first writing. John Calvin wrote what is perhaps the first work of “systematic theology” in the reformation his “Institutes of the Christian Religion”.
He he writes about his theology, and comes us with this system not just here are some things about my theology BUT here is my entire theology system like building a house, he is going to take time and start from the bottom setting the foundation. All that he writes is really founded upon “Logic”, there are many things about his theology that you will not agree with or find likable but, you can’t argue with the mans logic. Tapping into his life as a layer, he takes scripture and hard logic and really puts them together. His foundation is the “Sovereignty of God”, God has absolute control over everything.
Here Calvin what he means but what are known as the “Omnis” of God. God has control. A big part of this is Doctrine of “Predestination”, God controls all, even you. The thought here is. if God is sovereignty, then how does it make sense that if He wants people to go to Heaven and they don’t. What predestination teaches is that “Curtain” people are predestined to go to heaven and others are not, even before they are born. God has picked out an “Elect”. So if you have a person who God had “Elected”, and this person dies in a gun fight with police, which he started, and after killing a few officers, he himself dies.
God would be faced with a dilemma of, “Well he never herd the gospel, and now dies after killing a bunch of people and know I have to send him to hell even tho i wanted him to come to heaven. ” The thought was, well what kind of God is that, thats not a “Sovereign God” is it? A God who is at the mercy of what some person he elected does. So the idea of Predestination is that God has picked out certain people to join Him, and those people DO NOT have “Free Will”, this idea of free will, to Calvin, goes against the sovereignty of God and makes him powerless and not truly in control.
Calvinist Theology can be explained with the acronym “TULIP”, this gives us the “5 points” of Calvinism. Beginning with (T) Total Depravity, that us as human beings are un able to choose God, we are unable to use free will, unable to evan freely accept God Grace. There is nothing that we are capable of doing, its ALL God. Next, (U) Unconditional Election, we might ask, why isn’t that we didn’t get to choose the “Elect” and the thing is that its unconditional. It has nothing to do with anything about you, people are burning in hell but its nothing personal.
Working in a school it would be like me walking in 1st day of school, before the kids even walk in, taking my roster and being like okay, “these 5 are going to be my favorites”. In this election people did nothing to earn it only God mercy will result in them being elected. Then, (L) Limited Atonement, while the Catholic Church was teaching that Jesus died for EVERYONE, Calvin believe that the atonement of Jesus was ONLY for the elect. As for the rest of the world, “Sorry, nothing personal”. Next, (I) Irresistible Grace, we can summarize this as “Resistance is Futile” (Star Trek reference sorry LOL).
With God you can not resist “you WILL be saved”, the Grace is irresistible, once God has tagged you, and it doesn’t matter what how anger you are you will not do anything evil. Because God has elected you, and you are going to be better then that, not of your own will but because God has elected you. Finally, (P) Perseverance of the Saints, because God elected you, there is nothing you can do to lose it. God elected you and He will never change His mind. As you can see through his works he was a big impact to the Reformation and helping shape it.
He wanted to create the ideal Protestant community in much the same way the Roman Catholic Church established its seat of power in Rome. Calvin urged the separation of church and state in Geneva, but he gave ultimate control to the church. He influenced the Reformation in two important ways. First, his concept of predestination and his popular thought that God is the supreme authority became the theological hallmarks of future Protestant denominations such as the Puritan, Presbyterian, and the Reformed churches.
Second, he influenced future Protestant led governments to incorporate church authority into the affairs of the state. His influence survived his death by his Academy and his writings he also wrote commentaries on most of the books of the Bible, and a number of other works besides, providing a wide ranging way from which his followers could work. Any place you find reference to a “Reformed” church in Europe, that’s a Calvinist church.