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Top 5 Christian Theologians: John Calvin


Dates Lived: 1509-1564

Most important work:

  • Institutes of the Christian Religion (1560)

Biggest Contributions:

  • Emphasized the penal substitutionary view of the atonement
  • Overarching commitment to the Augustinian notion of the sovereignty of God in salvation
  • Taught that Scripture must interpret Scripture
  • Used the concept of the Covenant as the organizing principle for Christian theology

Favorite Quotes

Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.

God cannot be comprehended by us, except as far as he accomodates himself to our standard.

It was Christ’s task to swallow up death. Who but Life could do this? It was his task to conquer sin. Who but very Righteousness could do this? It was his task to rout the powers of the world and air. Who but a power higher than the world and air could do this? Therefore, our most merciful God, when he willed that we be redeemed, made himself our Redeemer in the person of his only begotten Son.

Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.

It is better that I should leave untouched what I cannot explain.

Keep hold of both of these points: our prayers are anticipated by God in his freedom, yet, what we ask we gain by prayer.

When the gospel is preached in the name of God, it is as if God himself spoke in person.

God tolerates even our stammering, and pardons our ignorance whenever something inadvertently escapes us – as, indeed, without this mercy there would be no freedom to pray.

True religion and worship of God arise out of faith, so that no one duly serves God save him who has been educated in his school.

The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.

Categories: Theology, Top Theologians

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