John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509. Much of next year will be spent remembering him, studying his views and their influence. Accordingly, our next four newsletters will be centered on this remarkable figure.
His relationship with our Seminary in Aix-en-Provence is patent. First, and this is sometimes forgotten, he was French. Though he spent much of his mature years in Geneva, he was from Noyon, north of Paris, and lived in different parts of France for some of his most formative years. Even from Geneva, Calvin was profoundly aware of the progress of the gospel in Provence, as a number of his letters attest.
Second, Calvin’s goals were similar to those of the Seminary. He wanted to re-form the church, not begin a new one. So does Aix. He believed the heart of sound theology is the glory of God. So does Aix. He urged the church to vest the Scripture with ultimate authority. So does Aix. He believed that the Christian faith was comprehensive, speaking not only to matters of the soul’s salvation, but to all of life. So does Aix. He was and continues to be misunderstood. So is Aix. He was fallible and made a number of serious mistakes. So has Aix. Yet he was profoundly aware of God’s mercy, his patience, his love. So is Aix.
Among the numerous conferences in 2009 about Calvin, two are not to be missed. For French-speakers, there is a two-part colloquium on Calvin, on at Aix (Feb. 20-21) and the other in Vaux-sur-Seine (March 27- 28). See their web site [http://www.fltr.net/carreft.html]. The second, in English, is in Geneva, July 6-9, will be a major congress on all aspects of Calvin’s life and thought. The web site is quite impressive and interactive: [http://www.calvin500.org/anniversary_conferences.html]. See you there!
Very Truly Yours,
William Edgar, President