During the early 16 th century, there was a significant leader that dominated the teaching of Protestantism around the world, especially in Geneva, Switzerland. His name was John Calvin. He was born in Noy on, France in the early 15 th century and lived fifty-five years. Calvin was a, brilliant and prestige, Protestant Reformation leader whom started to preach confidently about his beliefs in Geneva at the age of twenty-five. He was educated at University of Paris and was studying Greek and Latin. His education reflected the influence of liberal and humanistic Renaissance (Bratt, 75).
Throughout his years of preaching, he also composed a series of books that reflected his basic ideas on religion, Calvinism, and on the Reformation thoughts. A large majority of people in Geneva, at one time, begged Calvin to govern their country and established a theocracy regime. The teaching of Calvinism was spreading rapidly throughout the globe and a newer generation of Catholicism was being introduced to the Protestants. In the beginning, there were two strong leaders of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther and John Calvin, who shared differences opinions. Luther was a monk and a theology professor who believed that Christians could be saved only through faith in Jesus Christ and following the words of the Lord could guide them to salvation (McGrath, 154).
Understanding the Bible, in Calvin’s perspective, would increase the chances to be elected for one of God’s salvation.
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Introduction As a result of the information revolution commerce is being subjected to a rapid change in many businesses and not-for-profit organizations away from the more old-style dictatorial and tiered models of leadership and in the direction of servant leadership as a way of being in correlation with others. Servant leadership strives to involve others in decision making, is stalwartly based ...
In theocratic view, Luther choose the church as a secondary to the state, but Calvin wanted church to dominate society in Geneva. In other countries influenced by Calvin, many people were insisting that the people should share political and religious policymaking with the kings and bishops. Other dissimilarity was on the Predestination doctrine that many Reformers believed that God’s prophesy and His will for eternity will save some individual. There are other religions, such as Christianity and Islam, that also believed in predestination.
The teaching of predestination begun with St. Augustine in the early 400 AD, and there were already problems within Christian theology. The conflict was between the beliefs that God had all power to elect individuals from salvation and that human begins also had free will. “The history of salvation has been shown to be a fact in time of ‘eternal and immutable purpose of God'” (McGrath, 214. ) There were controversial concerns over the doctrines of predestination that lead to negative and pessimistic reaction for some Protestant Reformers. But, Martin Luther taught his followers that salvation depended entirely on God’s all-powerful will (McGrath, 218.
) In addition to God’s predestined for some individuals for salvation, Calvin also added damnation, eternal punishment in hell. Overall, his preaching had influenced many Calvinist and adapted their social and economic daily routine. But gradually the subject on predestination declined in the interest of business and out of people concerns. The best way to understand predestination is to understand Calvinism. In 1538, John Calvin became a pastor in Germany for a refugee Protestant church. He was influenced by an elder German Protestant man who was a leader of Strasbourg.
His name was Martin Bucer. Calvin studied Bucer’s ideas of theocracy and devotion. Over the years, he settled in Gevena, Switzerland where he and the Reformers spread the word about Calvinism. Geneva is a significant icon in the world because many international organizations based their headquarter in this country. Some examples are the United Nation (UN), International Labour Organization, Red Cross, and the World Council of Churches are based in Gevena. Calvin became well known in Gevena, since the city council of Geneva begged him to govern their country because their country were lacking in religious and political leadership.
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Bible And Literature: The Flood Narrative Analyzed In The Style Of Northrop e Frye (Timothy Findley Used As A Critic/Commentary) The flood as found in Genesis is a multidimensional and an archetypal source of metaphor and myth. The flood is an example of metaphorical and mythological language that provides foundational constructs upon which other aspects of the Biblical text and other works can be ...
So Calvin insisted to take charged, and “he transformed the government into a theocracy, a state ruled by the church (Albanese, 106. ) Calvin was also the founder of the University of Geneva and the town hall. Therefore, the people of Geneva were influenced in Calvin and the teaching of Calvinism. Calvinism was defined a teaching by John Calvin who practiced protestant religion and wrote on politics, social problems, and international issues as part of Christian responsibility (McGrath, 109).
He taught his followers that they will be saved only by the grace of God and that only the people who were elected by God would be saved. The Elected would only be known by God and no one else.
The foundation of his teaching came from his understanding of the bible. Calvin considered that all whom believed in the Bible were saw as priests. Meaning that Calvinist had a duty to teach and spread the word of the Lord and follow the written rules in Calvin’s book Institutes. He used three main images to develop their ideas of divine and to insure them with goodness in God. (Bratt, 131).
First image that Calvin elaborated was God was their father and He would spoken in children’s language so that He could communicate easier with them. Second, He was their teacher. God adapted himself to their ignorance in order to teach them at their own pace. Finally, Calvin insured the Reformer by informing God’s true wisdom about Himself and His people. In these three ideas of Calvinism, he comforted his people and developed a strong belief in Christ. Calvin taught his people how to say the prayers properly in two different ways (Bratt, 108).
To sing or to speak was the appropriate way to communicate with God. He claimed that music was the first gift from God to use to recreate. Hymns, prayers, scriptural lesson, and preaching helped to understand the clarity of vision that Calvin sought. (Bratt, 118. ) After his death in 1564, Calvinist were growing rapidly and the teaching of Calvinism were being teach by his series of books called Institute. His words were were read and appreciated around the world.
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The Institutes were a series of books that John Calvin started to compose in 1534. Throughout his life, he expanded his intensely thoughts on religion and on Reformation. He wrote a total of four books in the series of Institutes. These books were “biblical commentated, [by Calvin], to reinforce the overall impression one gains from a close reading of the Institutes” (McGrath, 151).
The first book was a doctrine of God. It was about the ideas of creation and providence.
It gave them a general knowledge of God and a sense of divinity in all of us, given by God at birth. The next book was the first doctrine of redemption. He explained God’s forbidden sins. Calvin also mentioned about the Old Testament and the New Testament. The following book, he wrote the doctrines of faith and predestination. People who obey God’s words, would highly be elected from God and saved them from evil.
Finally, the last book was redeemed community. This book answered why a church was necessary. Calvin said, “you cannot have a God as your father unless you have the church for you mother” (McGrath, 171. ) Thus, the church identified as a symbolic form of God’s body and soul. In addition, it is a spiritual place to teach the word of Lord. Together, the books created a foundation and understanding of how Calvinism works.
In looking back at the events in the religious perspective in the 15 th through 16 th centuries, the people of Geneva had a great theocratic leader, John Calvin. He taught many Protestant Reformer on Calvinism and how to deal with social and political aspect of life. Calvinist revolved around predestination and Gods will. Predestination can be pessimistic for some, but also can be rewarding for God’s electives. Many Calvinist enjoyed the teaching of John Calvin because he was brilliant and powerful Protestant Reformer leader. After his death, his teaching spread rapidly to more Calvinist.
Around the world, they saw him not only as a teacher, but also as an icon. Bibliography 1. Albanese, Catherine, America Religions and Religion (Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co. , 1999) pg 103-118. 2. Bratt, John, The Heritage of John Calvin (Michigan: William Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1973) pg 55-157.
3. McGrath, Alister, A Life of John Calvin (Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990) pg 105-218.
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