History of Christianity
November 11th, 2009
Defense of John Calvin
John Calvin, the great reformation leader was criticized by James Sadolet for being schismatic, but he comes to his own defense in a letter to Sadolet that replies to these criticisms. Sadolet’s letter was sent to the Senate of the People of Geneva, the town Calvin was preaching , studying and living. He refrences many important parts of the church including its stance on breaking way from the Church of Rome, works, communion, as well as in turn criticizing Sadolet for bringing the church’s name down as well. Calvin was not very happy with Sadolet and he wrote this response to justify his stances and also prove to everyone that his church was not what Sadolet claimed it was in his critique.
To start off, Calvin addresses Sadolet, clearly laying out the fact that Sadolet was a very distinguished scholar of his time thus making him very qualified to write a critique, he just did it in the wrong way. I will not permit you, Sadolet, by inscribing the name of Church on such abominations, both to defame it against all law and justice, and prejudice the ignorant against us, as if we were determined to wage war with the Church. Calvin believed that it was wrong to give the church a bad name just because he disagreed with him. Sadolet argues that Calvin led the people of Geneva off course by deflecting from the word of God, to which Calvin responds that he was just getting the people on the right track and steering them away from the ways of the Roman Church. Calvin can be justified in his view of doing right by teaching the people a purer form of the Gospel. “When the Genevans, instructed by our preaching, escaped from the gulf of error in which they were immersed and adopted themselves to a purer teaching of the gospel, you call it defection from the truth of God; when they threw off the tyranny of the Roman Pontiff in order to establish among themselves a... [continues]
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