Saturday, October 9, 2010

John Calvin's Life

This is a very good overview of the life of John Calvin, given by Joe Tyrpak, the assistant pastor at Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio.

Keep in mind at the point when he covers the circumstances surrounding the death of Miguel Serveto (Michael Servetus), that which is often not either revealed or researched too thoroughly, that several years prior to Senior Servetus fleeing to Geneva, John Calvin corresponded with him in efforts to help Servetus see the Trinity in scripture. When Sr. Servetus was arrested and placed on trial by the state as a heretic, John Calvin's position as pastor was to give testimony as evidence of the truth behind Servetus' unitarian belief; but for the year prior to his execution, John Calvin, as a pastor, visited Sr. Servetus nearly every day, reading the scriptures to him and trying to convince Servetus of the truth of the Trinity so that Servetus might repent and recant.


  1. Thanks for clarifying what happened, too bad that people are quick to judge Calvin instead of looking into the issue more.

  2. I also thank you.

    John Lofton, Editor,
    Communications Director, Institute On The Constitution
    Recovering Republican

  3. Open your Bible to Acts 5:29-32... But Peter and the Apostles answered and said, "We must obey GOD rather than men...(32) and we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom GOD has given to all who obey him."

    Those verses are unmistakable that we have to do our part by obeying the commandments of GOD.

    Then there is the dreaded (by Protestants) James 2:14-26 which starts with (14) "What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have Works?

    Can the faith save him?...(17) So faith too, unless it has Works, is dead in itself...(20) Faith without Works is useless...(21)

    Was not Abraham our father justified by Works when he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Do you not see that Faith worked along with his Works, and by the Works the faith was made perfect?...(24)

    You see that by Works a man is justified, and not by faith only....(26) For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so, Faith also without Works is Dead." 'Subjective Salvation' in action, is shown for that whole section written by St. James.

    I could go on and on with verses like this, and could ask questions such as, why is there a need for the ten commandments, since we are 'automatically saved'? I think you get the message from what I have shown.

    Read Matthew 25:31:46. It is all about doing good works in this life. Then there is Revelation 14:13, "And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, 'Write: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth. Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them.'"

    Is that clear enough that works are needed in addition to faith? Still not convinced? Then how about another crystal clear verse? Revelation 22:12, "Behold, I come quickly! And My reward is with Me, to render to each one according to his works."

    I must call it to your attention that the Bible mentions Faith Only, once and only once, in one verse, and in that verse it says NOT by Faith Only. (James 2:24)

  4. Michael,

    Although you do not say outright that you are speaking strictly of man's salvation, because you speak of man's justification from James' epistle as requiring "works [in] addition to faith" (re: 2nd to last paragraph).

    In the overall context of James' letter to the church, he is speaking of a true faith that produces works. Faith does not a will not abide alone. If it were truly a saving faith, then it would be evidenced by works. Having taught through the book of James more than a few times, it is consistent with other epistles that deal with the topic of justification.

    Orthodox Reformed Theology, and Calvinistic Covenant Theology in particular, is not antinomian, does not cast away The Ten Commandments as you imply in paragraph 7, and would (and should) question whether the faith of a professor of Christ was genuine if it did not produce works.

    Vacant from your apologetic are complimentary verses that express that justification is by God's grace alone (with regard to salvation):

    Eph 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Rom 4:4-5, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

    Gal 2:21, I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

    Rom 11:5-6, Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."