Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Calvin for Kids 02

I had some pics for thm to look at too and some books (I discover I have about 70 books by or about Calvin in my study) and some souvenir soap from 2009! I carried on after this fashion

He worked very hard mainly at preaching and teaching the people but also rearranging things so that it was more like what we find in the Bible. Preaching was his main work but he also gave some time to writing.
As we have said, not everyone liked this and some people hated Calvin and called him names in the street and spoke against him. After a few years they managed to work it so that Calvin and Farel were kicked out of Geneva. They had to leave.
First they went to Basle nearby but then Calvin went to be a minister in Strasbourg, where he began to do the same sorts of things as he'd done in Geneva. Calvin would happily have spent the rest of his life in Strasbourg. He was very happy there. In the end, however, it was only 3 years before the people in Geneva were begging him to come back. A Roman Catholic cardinal called Sadoleto wrote a long letter to Geneva saying they really ought to give up on the Reformation and go back to the old ways. The people knew this was all wrong but they didn't know how to answer him so they looked for someone to help them. The only person they could find who could do it well was Calvin. So they asked him to write and even though they had thrown him out he did. He wrote a very good answer. The people in Geneva really wanted Calvin back but he wasn't keen. Eventually, however, in 1541 he came back.
You can imagine how it must have been that first Sunday when he came to preach. Everybody was wondering what he was going to say after they'd treated him so badly. But no, he simply carried on preaching from the place where he'd left off three years before!
And so for the rest of his life Calvin preached and taught there in Geneva. Calvin would preach not just on Sundays but in the week too. They also started a university where he taught. People from all over Europe came to Geneva, especially from France where you were not allowed to be a Protestant.
Calvin's books have all been translated into English and are still read today. His main writings are his Institutes - two books that try to explain bit by bit all that the Bible teaches. There are also commentaries on most books of the Bible. Many of the sermons he preached were written down and lots of these have also been published a books.
Of course, these days we have computers and so Calvin's writings have all been put on CD-Rom or you can read them online.
One thing I haven't told you is that Calvin was married. While he was in Strasbourg he married a woman called Idelette. She'd been married before (to a Baptist) and had two children but he had died. Sadly, she and Calvin weren't able to have children and after they had been married about 9 years she died giving birth. Calvin was very sad, of course, but he put his trust in God and found the strength to go on.
Calvin eventually died when he was 54 (a little older than me). He had been unwell all his life with different things but had worked every minute for the glory of God. He asked to be buried in an unmarked grave as he didn't want any fuss. Already his ideas had begun to go out all over Europe and even today his ideas are still remembered not just in Europe but in many parts of the world. The year before last was the 500th anniversary of his death and there were lots of celebrations. I was actually in Manila in the Philippines giving a lecture about Calvin.

1 comment:

Robert Strivens said...

I didn't know you and Eleri did fancy dress, Gary. I hope the talk went well.