John Calvin on His 497th Birthday

I had forgotten that today is John Calvin’s birthday—July 10, 1509. Glad I stopped by Darrin Brooker’s blog to be reminded of this (see his Commemorating John Calvin’s Birth and The Person of John Calvin). Like all great men and women in the history of the Church he had his faults, but oh the strengths of his teaching and walk with Christ that need to be remembered. His self-sacrificial life for the Church and his willingness to give up the pursuit of an academic career to benefit the people of God needs to be highlighted. The piety so evident in his Institutes needs to be recalled—not for nothing is he remembered as the theologian of the Holy Spirit. And then his understanding of biblical theology in terms of the glory of God and his sovereignty needs to be re-highlighted in our day.

To be honest, if it had not been for the Reformed wing of the Reformation, of which Calvin is a prominent figure, the gains of the Reformation would have been far less. Of course, the attention that has been paid to Calvin over the centuries would not have been to his liking. His request to be buried in an unmarked grave was honoured by his friends and co-workers, but the spirit behind the wish—that he be forgotten—has not been. And may I say, rightly so. His life and teaching sparkles with the glory of Christ and that should be seen afresh in every generation.