Hug a Calvinist Day

1769-john-calvin.jpgThis day in church history, one of the great magisterial reformers was born.  John Calvin (French spelling Jean Cauvin) born July 10, 1509 in Noyon, Picardy, France to attorney Gérard Cauvin and Jeanne le Franc.  He studied theology in Paris at the age of 14, and receives his Doctor of Law degree in Orleans in 1532.  It was during this time that his father had fallen out of favor with the church, and Calvin converted to Protestantism.  He fled Paris in 1533 for his own safety.

In 1536, Calvin published his magnum opus, the first edition of his “Institutes of the Christian Religion” at the age of 26.  Even 500 years later, the “Institutes”are still widely read.  Anti-Calvinist, Jacobus Arminius said the following of Calvin:

Next to the study of the Scriptures which I earnestly inculcate, I exhort my pupils to peruse Calvin’s Commentaries, which I extol in loftier terms than Helmich himself (a Dutch divine, 1551–1608); for I affirm that he excels beyond comparison in the interpretation of Scripture, and that his commentaries ought to be more highly valued than all that is handed down to us by the library of the fathers; so that I acknowledge him to have possessed above most others, or rather above all other men, what may be called an eminent spirit of prophecy. His Institutes ought to be studied after the (Heidelberg) Catechism, as containing a fuller explanation, but with discrimination, like the writings of all men.

5 TULIPS_2483_Copy488.jpgIn 1536, Calvin, intending just to pass through Geneva, was persuaded to stay and help a city in trouble.  He stayed until he was banished in 1538, but was begged to return to Geneva in 1541, where he remained until his death in 1564.

Just a few more brief facts.  Calvinism was developed after his death, at the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619.  What emerged from the synod codified as Calvinism.  It consists of 5 points that, if the first letter of each point is taken, they form the acrostic TULIP.  You can read more about the 5 points here.

One of the pastors at church is fond of saying that when God gives us gifts, He wraps them up in people, and Calvin is certainly one of the great gifts God has given His church.

One of my Facebook friends, Ken Shepherd, created “Hug A Calvinist Day” to honor Calvin on his birthday.  So, where ever you are predestined to be, go hug your friendly neighborhood Calvinist.

Hug a Calvinist Day

I first read about this at the Reformed Chicks Blabbing blog.  It was created by Ken Shepherd on Facebook.  Ken has set Hug A Calvinist Day for July 10, 2008.  Were Calvin still alive, he would be 499 years old this summer. 

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Next year is the 500th birthday of John Calvin.  There is an Anniversary trip and celebration conference planned for July 2009.  The trip is a bit on the expensive side, but looks to be well worth the effort.  The trip will be led and hosted by a plethora of well respected scholars such as Bryan Chapell, R. Scott Clark and Ligon Duncan to name a few.  Great theological minds, visiting historic places connected with one of the greatest theological minds in Protestant history, Strausburg, Paris, and ending in Geneva, what more could you ask for?  You can get more information on the celebration here.

If you can’t afford the trip, then you can at least get ready for a small celebration at home, by obtaining some of these fine products here.  For those of you with significant others, I highly recommend this.

Anyone want to donate to the fund for a 10th wedding anniversary trip for my wife and I?