Jean Calvin (1509-1564)
A generation after Luther, the Frenchman Jean Calvin became the organiser of the Reformation : he organised the Church, shaped the doctrine and defined the role of the Church in state government.
Calvin at work
Calvin was an tireless worker.
Calvin and the Bible
Although Calvin considered the Bible to be of fundamental importance in his theses, he cannot be considered a fundamentalist. The authority of the Scriptures, according to him, called for interpretation : in fact, to refuse this course of action was inconceivable. What was required was to read the texts in such a way that both intelligence and faith played their part, so as not to separate the intellect and the spiritual.
The Works of Jean Calvin
In his writings there are six major works.
Jean Calvin's doctrine
Calvin presented his doctrine in his major work : The Institutes of the Christian Religion.
The ecclesiastical ordinances (1541)
In the ecclesiastical ordinances Jean Calvin defines the organisation of the Church and the relations between the reformed Church and the political power in Geneva.
With the publication of his book: The Institution of the Christian Religion, Jean Calvin establishes himself as the main theologian of the Reformed current. He was called to Geneva, which had just gone through the Reformation to organize the new Church there. From Geneva, he supports the Reformed Churches in France and helps them to organize.