Who Was John Calvin the Reformer?

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Who was John Calvin the Reformer? In this Seven Minute Seminary video, Dr. Scott Kisker offers a helpful sketch of the influential figure John Calvin. By setting him in his historical context, Kisker helps us understand the lasting impact that his thoughts and pastoral work in Geneva had on the world.

Read some leading biographies and helpful treatments of John Calvin:
Calvin by Bruce Gordon
John Calvin: A Biography by T. H. L. Parker
Calvin for Armchair Theologians by Christopher Elwood
Read John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.

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Dr. Scott Kisker is Professor of the History of Christianity at United Theological Seminary. He specializes in Wesley studies and pietist studies. Scott is married to Roberta Willison Kisker and they have five children: Maria, Susanna, Isaac, Tabitha, and Naomi.

1 COMMENT

  1. Question; David Bentley Hart says that Calvin mocked Servetus when he was burned (The Story of Christianity, p. 193). I’ve never seen that in print from any other source. He acknowledges that Calvin did ask for a ‘more humane’ execution (beheading?), but it does not speak well of Calvin if this is true. Some might say John Calvin was just a man of his time, when burning (along with many other forms of discrimination and abuse were practiced by both Catholics and various Protestant groups) was sadly common.

    I can name one other contemporary theologian (I feel I would need permission to quote him; i don’t have it) who sees Calvin’s involvement in Servetus execution just as damning, whether the above accusation is true or not, and considers it a real blight on his reputation. This does reflect some Arminian bias, to be sure.
    But to the point; does anyone know if this claim has been made elsewhere?

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