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He took for granted that the Church should have an interpretive authority, a sacramental liturgy and a single, unified faith.These discoveries faced me with important questions.I discovered that his concerns were vastly different, more institutional, even more Catholic.Although he rejected the authority of Rome, there were things about the Catholic faith he never thought about leaving.I once heard a Protestant pastor preach a “Church History” sermon.He began with Christ and the apostles, dashed through the book of Acts, skipped over the Catholic Middle Ages and leaped directly to Wittenberg, 1517. Unknown Flemish artist Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève I loved it, too.
Born-again spirituality, private interpretation of Scripture, a broad-minded approach to denominations – Calvin opposed them all.In 1549, he wrote a short work (Every state [of life] has its own Gospel, which they forge for themselves according to their appetites, so that there is as great a diversity between the Gospel of the court, and the Gospel of the justices and lawyers, and the Gospel of merchants, as there is between coins of different denominations.I began to grasp the difference between Calvin and his descendants when I discovered his hatred of this theological diversity.To begin with, I decided that I really didn’t like Calvin. But more importantly, I discovered that Calvin upset my Evangelical view of history.I had always assumed a perfect continuity between the Early Church, the Reformation and my Church.