John Calvin Vs Martin Luther: Similarities And Differences

Two great leaders, John Calvin and Martin Luther, who represented the stepping stones for the Protestant Reformation, greatly impacted the 16th century. Both of these men opposed the Roman Catholic Church and had separate viewpoints on religion and how it was to be seen. Calvin and Luther had very similar theologies focused on Protestantism. The reverence of Calvin for Luther is evident as he considers him an “apostle.” Luther is the founder of a movement today recognized as the Lutherans. Both men were very identical and different at the same time; each influenced Europe in a certain way. Calvin had even impacted the New England colonies. Protestantism will certainly not be seen all over the world without these two, and they’re contradicting the church.

Born in 1483 in Eisleben in Upper Thuringa (Germany), Martin Luther was the son of a hard-working and hardworking farmer who later turned miner. He was described as an enthusiastic man, eating, drinking, praying, preaching, and living with much zest and passion. He was both quick to get angry and to laugh. He often said or wrote what he later regretted, but once said, he decides not to retract or withdraw. He was, at the same time, a sensible man, struck by the majesty of the creation of God. He was a prolific author, as well. His booklets, writings, and tracts for spectacular events and issues can fill up a library. But the accusations repeatedly voiced against Luther originated from his books.

John was delivered in the 16th century. He was a Reformer of the second generation, born in Noyon, northern France, in 1509, twenty-five years after Luther (1483). He didn’t exit France until he was 25. He regarded himself as a Frenchman and held to the end of his life an active involvement and respect for the well being of his fellow countrymen.

When Calvin came to the scene, the Middle Age was drawing to a close. He thereby straddled the boundaries of both an ancient and new age. His fights with the Roman church were not new. He was dubbed the Genevan Reformer. In reality, though, Calvin didn’t even carry the Reformation to Geneva; they already approved the Reformation before he arrived. He was just one of the many who proposed reform by the time he published his Institutes in 1536. This accounts for how he handled the problems he faced. He impressively approached humanity with the Bible word for every sphere of existence.

Calvin was delivered into the church, unlike Luther. His father was the Bishop of Noyon’s administrative assistant. His mother was also thought of as a very righteous woman. However, both of these men studied law, with Calvin having graduated, and Luther forfeiting completing school to become a monk, and ultimately a theology doctor. However, Calvin wasn’t a novice in biblical languages but wasn’t formally trained theologically as Luther was.

While similar in upbringing and education, their characteristics were distinct. Calvin had been shy to the extent that he was unsociable. Nevertheless, Luther was a man of purpose, with an explosive personality. Given these personality differences, Calvin and Luther were both hesitant to combat the enemy, but Calvin was more resistant than Luther. Nevertheless, the help of those who supported them led both men into the battle.

The focus on the validity of the Bible arrived with their interpretation of the biblical languages. Both Luther and Calvin confirmed that the church was conceived from the womb of the Scriptures, and not the Scriptures of the church. This is one of the Reformation’s primary “flags.” Purely the Scriptures are authoritative. This reliance on the Bible alone was a deliberate protest toward modern-day philosophy and policy. Usurping the supreme authority of the Catholic Church and the pope was a capital offence. However, Calvin and Luther tried to please God, rather than men.

Although the lives and theology of Luther and Calvin were mainly similar in essentials, there were differences between them. Calvin knew himself and his work even though he was younger than Luther. He sang Luther’s praises for restoring the gospel during their historical period. Some also perceived Calvin as the greatest disciple of Luther. There are claims that Calvin exceeds Luther in his capacity to express the profound principles of reformation and in his structured implementation of these teachings in Geneva’s civic life. This Luther did not do. Calvin also differentiated himself from Luther by his ability to convey and apply uncomfortable truths.

One of the complicated truths that Calvin helped express, which was theologically insignificant, was his belief that whenever a baby is born, God produces its soul out of nothing. Calvin stressed the divine presence of God in the universe, and this conviction has driven him to advocate the direct intervention of God in procreation. This led him to condemn the traducianist principle, which was held by Luther.

The traducianist principle of Luther states that procreation passes the soul from generation to generation. This view implies then that besides God’s new intervention, humans play a part in the creation of babies. In certain areas, Calvin did deduce in scriptural terms that God permitted indirect individuals and circumstances to fulfil His will. Yet creation must have been a matter so sacred for humanity to engage alone. Calvin saw this act of creation as flowing from the nature of God. This creating act of the soul must, therefore, be “holy” because only goodness can flow from God, and consequently, the vileness of humanity wouldn’t allow them to take part in this sacred act.

Also, a portion of God’s awesomeness is displayed in His Church. The church was the local body of the faithful to Luther and Calvin. Additionally, the marks of a church formed a church for Calvin; this surpassed the use of those marks by Luther. The two marks which they used were rightly preached Gospels and properly administered sacraments. There were several other Reformers who contributed church discipline to these marks, but Calvin and Luther could not go that far. However, Calvin interpreted discipline as part of a congregation’s constitution and organization, rather than as part of the interpretation of a real group.