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News – Calvin anniversary

April 2009

Calvin anniversary


2009 is the 500th anniversary of the birth of the French Reformer John Calvin. It is also the 450th anniversary of the final edition of his magnum opus, the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

     The history of Christianity in the last five centuries can hardly be understood without knowledge of the labours and ideas of this Reformer of Geneva in Switzerland. Presbyterians, Congregationals, Anglicans, Baptists and many others are beneficiaries of his spiritual legacy. Indeed, the development of the whole western world has been marked by the influence of this great Frenchman.

     On Friday 20 February, in Portadown Town Hall, Co. Armagh, Rev. Angus Stewart, pastor of Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Ballymena, spoke on ‘John Calvin’s battle for the Reformation’. He explained Calvin’s significance, tracing his fascinating early life, tireless labours, and bold stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of much opposition.

     The well-attended lecture was followed by a question time. Afterwards, those attending enjoyed discussion over refreshments and had opportunity to peruse the well-stocked book table, along with CDs, DVDs and pamphlets.

     A second Calvin lecture has been arranged in Portadown. This will deal with Calvin’s later years in Geneva. In this anniversary year, Rev. Stewart will also be speaking on Calvin at Limerick in the Irish Republic, Porthcawl in South Wales, and Grand Rapids in the USA. For a CD of the first lecture or more details, phone 028 25 891851 or visit