2009-03-16-Church History

2009-03-16-Church History - Page 1 of 7 Church History...

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Page 1 of 7 Church History March 16, 2009 Calvin wanted to be part of the group of folks who wrote about the Latin philosophers. The philosopher Seneca had been the tutor of Nero, the adopted son of Claudius. The treatise on Mercy that argued that it was important for the emperor to be merciful not because of short supply, but because it was fitting to the office of the emperor. John Calvin edited it, and wrote a critical commentary on the text. Studied in Paris, and then studied law at two law faculties that were excellent. He didn’t want to be a lawyer, but wanted to be a member of a Classics Department that issued book after book of commentary on the ancient authors. He got derailed quite by accident. But in his mind, there is no such thing as an accident. It’s secret, but it’s not by accident. It’s pre-determined by God. There is not a sparrow that falls to the earth apart from Divine Design. Calvin sees what happens as the providential hand of God. But the way it happened looks pretty accidental. He was on his way to Strasborg, but there was fighting along the direct routes, so he went by way of Geneva. Geneva was not part of France or part of Switzerland. It was a free city-state; independent and self-governing. Most people spoke French, regionally. One of his students got in trouble for speaking French slang in Quebec (one of Steinmetz’s students) At the time Calvin arrived in Geneva Farel, William Farrell – was in the process of reform by Farrel. He was reforming Geneva. Geneva was open to reform, and not open to reform. It was a tough fight. Pierre Vierey in Lausanne helped, but when he heard the Calvin was in town, he strode over to the hotel and invited him to stay. Calvin reports the conversation because it left a deep impression on him. Calvin refused and said he wanted to live in peace and edit texts, and Ferrell says that God will curse his peace. So Calvin stays for awhile, until Calvin is forced out, and finishes his trip to Strasborg, where he sends postcards to all of his friends, saying “I’m having a wonderful, wonderful time” He gets married, a nobleman suggests that he marries his sister – I want someone who speaks French in the morning! He marries a widow. De Beurre. A happy marriage. Pastor of a French-speaking church. He’s out of Geneva and happy to be out of Geneva.
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Page 2 of 7 He had gotten deflected out of his ambition to be a master of the ancient Roman classics, and he got started on a different project. Two different projects that he did in parallel: Writing commentaries on scriputre… compositions that were written in a study, and in addition, he was writing and re-writing and writing again a handbook of theology. It’s called “The Institutes of the Christian Religion”
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course CHHIST 14 taught by Professor Davidsteinmetz during the Spring '09 term at Duke.

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2009-03-16-Church History - Page 1 of 7 Church History...

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