During the French Reformation, around 10% of the population embraced Evangelical Protestantism—this entailed close to 50% of the upper and middle classes. These two million flooded into the church during a time of a great outpouring of the Spirit between the 1520s and the 1560s. Those stirring days will be remembered frequently this year when many celebrate the qunicentennial of the birth of John Calvin (born 1509). As an historian I am thrilled to read of those days and very thankful for the life and ministry of Calvin (though not without some reservations about certain aspects of his ministry).
But as a Christian, living in the early twenty-first century, what stares me in the face is the enormous spiritual need of France. I just got this statement sent to me today in an e-mail from a dear brother and sister, both of whom I taught in the 1980s at Central Baptist Seminary, Toronto, and who have served in France for nearly twenty years. They wrote:
“We have seen very few French people turn to the Lord and remain attached to Him over the past 19 years.”
Should this not be a matter for great prayer? Especially by those who honour Calvinistic theology? Calvin gave much of his life to see the gospel planted in France. If we honour his memory, should we not share something of his concern and desire?
Brothers and sisters, those of you love the doctrines of grace—yea, all who love the Lord Jesus and long for his appearing, pray for France and her people!