John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509 in Noyon, France. In those days the most important man in Noyon was a bishop whom Calvin's father was a secretary to. It was a factor that made his father decided that Calvin would get a religious education. At fourteen his father sent him to the University of Paris to be trained to be a priest by studying theology. He received a thorough conservative training in Catholic faith at this university. His fathers' affairs with the bishop fell out, again playing a part in Calvin's life. His father now felt that law would be more to his liking and he sent Calvin to the University of Orleans and Bourges. Despite the education he received at both universities, Calvin was more interested in the
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The people chose their own church ministers whom basically ran the state. A few of Calvin's ideas includes God being so remote and so powerful that human beings could never understand His purpose. He believed that all people deserved eternal punishment in hell because of how completely corrupt they were. Calvin still believed that a chosen few were to be saved, which is known as predestination. This is the core of his ideas about God and humanity. Since no one knew who was damned and who wasn't, a person's life was not to look for salvation but to honor God. Righteous behavior was to be a clue to who was among the select few. Behavior therefore was strongly emphasized. Calvin had managed to transform a whole city of "13,000 population" with these ideas. This made it an even more remarkable accomplishment in his career as a minister.
1. Calvinism in Europe, 1540-1620, ed. by Andrew Pettegree, Alastair Duke, Gillian Lewis (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 53. 2. T. Walter Wallbank, Arnold Schrier, Donna Maier, Patricia Guetierrez-Smith, History and Life (Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1993), 391. 3. Calvinism in Europe, 1540-1620, ed. by Andrew Pettegree, Alastair Duke, Gillian Lewis (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 22. 4. Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, Frank M. Turner, The Western Heritage: Volume B: 1300 to 1815