Reformed Theology in France

OrteliusFrance.jpg

In 2011, Reformed Forum podcast hosts Camden Bucey, Jeff Waddington, and Jim Cassidy interviewed Yannick Imbert, Prof. of Apologetics & Church History, and Kim Tran, Directeur of the Faculté Jean Calvin seminary in Aix-en-Provence, France. Barbara Edgar provided translation.

Although now several years old, this audio interview remains very informative and relevant for those interested in the history and current state of Reformed theology in France.. The discussion spans the Reformation to philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. Click here.

History and Legacy of the Huguenots

Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 7.40.58 PM.png

In 2015, Reformed Forum podcast hosts Camden Bucey and Adam York interviewed William Edgar, President of The Huguenot Fellowship, about this organization, as well as, the history and legacy of the Huguenots. This hour-long audio episode has much to offer those who would like to learn more about the Reformed Faith in the course of French history. Click here.

Huguenot Fellowship Soirée

 Rodrigo De Sousa, Prof of Hebrew & O.T., Faculté Jean Calvin

Rodrigo De Sousa, Prof of Hebrew & O.T., Faculté Jean Calvin

Image-2.jpeg

The Huguenot Fellowship (THF) recently held a Soirée at Westminster Theological Seminary near Philadelphia. This memorable evening included good food, great fellowship, engaging guest speakers, and special music. THF President Bill Edgar was master of ceremonies.

Prof. Rodrigo De Sousa came from Aix-en-Provence, France to share news of Faculté Jean Calvin (FJC), including his personal experience as a relatively new member of the teaching staff. We were reminded of FJC’s unique position in the French-speaking world as the Reformed and Evangelical seminary, which offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs: training pastors, missionaries, and lay Christians to serve the Lord in the 250 million French-speaking world. FJC is truly blessed to have such talented and dedicated teachers as Dr De Sousa.

Dr Yannick Imbert, Prof of Apologetics & Church History, gave a talk on the history of FJC last summer at the seminary. A video was shown at the Soirée, and can be viewed by clicking on the link below, then click the play icon on the image. (Too large to download!)

History of FJC Video

Rev Paul Wolfe, Vice President of THF, delivered concluding remarks; thanking those who attended, and emphasizing the blessing and privilege it is to support THF with our prayers and gifts.

Please consider supporting The Huguenot Fellowship in its mission of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the work of the Faculté Jean Calvin. Thank you so much to you who faithfully do already!

Jesus in the City of Lights

Edgaredit-small.jpg

September, 2018

Dear Friends,

The City of Paris has long been the setting for romance and adventure. In her memoirs, The Only Street in Paris, master story-teller Elaine Sciolino recounts the marvels of the intricate, richly-human, colorful lives on a single street, La Rue des Martyrs, in the Pigalle Quarter. There she could purchase the best foods, buy the most specialized books, and witness the many public spectacles on the sidewalks. Each of its dwellers is a character, and each has a contribution to make. Paris is also the setting for the generation of world-changing trends and ideas.

Significantly the Rue des Martyrs is bookended by two historic churches, Notre Dame de Lorette and the Sacré-Cœur. Paris is populated by churches throughout the city. A many of them have stories going far back into the recesses of history. Sadly, not all of them have kept their original verve. Yet new initiatives are occurring on a regular basis. And they still connect with history, without being stuck in nostalgia.

Here is a marvelous story. A number of years ago Samuel Foucachon, a graduate of Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence, was working for a Jewish business man who knew he was a Christian and was deeply aware of Protestant history (there has always been a special connection between the Jewish community and French Huguenots who harbored them during the Nazi occupation). The man invited Samuel into his home and gave him a Bible from 1638. This Bible included a copy of the Gallican Confession, a rarity in that day. It had originally belonged to a Pastor Jacques Lafon, who signed the Confession. Today this Bible has come back to the Latin Quarter of Paris, where the Confession had originally been proclaimed. Samuel is the founding pastor of a church in the Chapelle de Nesle, two blocks from where the first Reformed synod met to ratify the Confession. Such an historical link gives credibility to the new church.

Samuel is not the only church-planter in Paris. Aix graduate Benoit Engel is working with Ed and Laura Nelsen, who have been involved in planting a church in the 17th arrondissement, where I grew up! The International Presbyterian church is planning to establish a community led by Westminster grad Gethin Jones. There are many more. As one person put it, “It’s the light of Jesus in the City of lights.”

Very Truly Yours,

William Edgar,
President

Rentrée 2018

  ——— Start of the School Year 2018 ———

——— Start of the School Year 2018 ———

L A F A C U L T É J EA N C A L V I N
invites you again this year to the heart of what matters.

Thank you for staying vigilant with us
in prayer, in testimony and in action,
defending the sovereignty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
in everything we will experience together
during this new year!

Pray with us
for each new student
who will start their training course in Aix,
and for those who will finish it.

3339fe83-a212-494d-a5f6-cf08efcb0761.jpg

Between Karikal and Pondichéry

IMG_9014 copy.jpg

I spent my early childhood years in India, between Karikal and Pondichéry, former French trading posts. The cultural setting I grew up in was dominantly Muslim and Hindu, but at my private primary school I had a brief taste of Catholicism.

I came to live in France in 1964 when I was 5 years old. Three memorable landmarks stand out in my early life in France:
    - the joy of being able to attend Christmas mass
    - the childish joy of reading in a book, maybe a missal that the man who was said to be God said, "Let the children come to me and don't hinder them."
    - a hitch in my search for God when I was not allowed to follow catechism classes. My parents made it clear to me that I belonged to another religion which had its own gods, which even in certain way worshipped all gods!

For a long time I followed on in this syncretic religion which had such a disturbing mystical force, but I was also drawn to the all-powerful Christ. I was torn: how could I betray my parents by abandoning their faith? How could I follow Christ alone?

And so I went on in this ambiguous frame of mind until the age of 45. At the baptism of a long-standing friend I discovered something totally unknown to me until then: Protestant faith, with its strength firmly rooted in the Scriptures. I then found answers to my questions through some unexpected encounters. I also had two disturbing dreams and received a sign that left me scarred for life. And finally, in awe and fear of the Lord, I bowed the knee and confessed my faith in Christ. I pray God will allow me to continue to build on the rock which is Jesus Christ, to be ready to serve his church, and witness to his name by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Kali Kit, student 

A Sweet Revelation

IMG_8943.jpg

My name is Pierre. I'm 33 years old. I was born in Aix-en-Provence but I grew up in a large Protestant family in Chartres, just about an hour southwest of Paris. After my Baccalauréat (high school diploma), I studied for four years in Tours and Nice and completed the first year of a Master's degree in history. Then I was a librarian in Paris for severn years. This enriching work experience taught me many things and allowed me to meet people, read a lot and live a nice life in Paris, surrounded by friends and the church community. But something was about to happen...

It took me several years to understand the call of the Lord. It was through hard times and unemployment that God touched me and began to work in me, even though at the time I wasn't fully aware of his action. That's when I started reading the Bible regularly and developing an interest in theology and spiritual matters. It was a gradual process. It wasn't until the fall of 2016 that I realized that I wanted to become a pastor. It was a sweet  and powerful revelation, made possible by the guidance of my prayers and the Holy Spirit. Things fell into place, both in my spirit and in my heart. I was happy and grateful for everything that was happening to me and the way it all unfolded. "He has made everything beautiful in his time." (Ec. 3:11)

From that moment forward, I made the decision to attend the Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence., where students are taught the reformed, evangelical theology inspired by the works of John Calvin, a more orthodox doctrine than its liberal, Parisian counterpart. This is the main reason why I chose this university. Another reason was that my grandfather also studied here and worked as a minister in this city for several years. Finally, the last reason was my desire to come back to my birthplace, a beautiful city bathed in the light and warmth, on the foothills of the famous Sainte-Victoire mountain that Cézanne painted so often.

This is, in a nutshell, the story of my life and destiny as a student in Aix, with the help of God!

"Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Prov. 20:24)

Pierre Guibal, student

Graduation Photos

The Faculté Jean Calvin 2018 graduation program was held on June 22 at the seminary. The speakers (in the order shown) were Michael Johner, Dean and Prof. of Ethics and History; Frédéric Bican, FJC graduate and pastor of a church in Grasse near Nice; and Yannick Imbert, Prof. of Apologetics and Church History. The FJC Choir provided music. Prof. Imbert presented diplomas to the graduates. The program was followed by a buffet dinner in the lovely garden of the seminary. Pierre-Sovann Chauny, Prof. of Systematic Theology is shown holding his young daughter. Prof. Imbert is shown with Pierre Berthoud, Prof. Emeritus and FJC Board President. Some of the younger children were more interested in picking snails from the plants than eating dinner! Students put on skits, this one involving Peter, the sheet let down from heaven and the voice from heaven saying, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ It was a grand time of celebration and fellowship!