Calvin the Political Tyrant?

Dr. Ross William Collins:

Portrait of John Calvin, French School“One of the most damaging accusations made against Calvin is that he was a political tyrant. It must not be forgotten that Calvin was no more than a pastor at Geneva. He did not always get his way nor was there any method by which he could achieve his ends at any time other than through his learning and prestige. He possessed expert legal knowledge and was often consulted by the authorities of Geneva in legal matters for that very reason. His learning was so much greater than any of his contemporaries in Geneva that his views could not be rejected without a very careful consideration. He was not, as the Perrinists asserted, a bishop or the Protestant pope of Geneva. One cannot deny that his authority in religious matters was very great, but he had a profound knowledge of the Bible, the Fathers and the history of the Church. His reputation was an international one and his views were difficult to disregard…. No interpretation can minimize the importance of what he said, what he wrote and what he did. Calvin, who was buried in an unmarked grave, minimized his own personal importance. He did not and we cannot minimize the importance of what he accomplished.”

~Ross William Collins, Calvin and the Libertines of Geneva, edited by F. D. Blackley (Toronto/Vancouver: Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited, 1968). Pp 210 (including an extensive
bibliography of French sources). Reviewed by Judith Collins, WRS Journal 16:2 (August 2009): 48 (referenced; online edition only)

Read more on Calvin, the Libertines, and Servetus:–review–Collins_Calvin_Libertines.pdf


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