Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Portrait of Calvin

By T. H. L. Parker

Portrait of Calvin


John Calvin's essential harmony is remarkable. There are dissonances that strain the harmony, but in spite of them—and within the limits of sinful mortality — the unity of his life is astounding. His thoughts, his actions, and his intentions point in the same direction. As he thought, so he lived. And so he bore lifelong, visible witness to the gospel he preached.

Calvin has his place in history, of course. But his words and his life point beyond himself to where the crucified and risen Christ sits at the right hand of God. Before he died, he saw to it that there should be no posthumous canonization. He left orders that he should be buried in an unmarked grave. So his death and burial where of one piece with his life. Calvin bent all his energies in life and death to making Jesus Christ alone great, and making that greatness visible.


“Freely you received, freely give.”

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