#30: On Common Misconceptions about John Calvin with Obbie Tyler Todd

Self-inflicted or not, there’s a stigma surrounding John Calvin and all his proponents that stinks of stoicism. Regardless of historical merit, Calvin is viewed as having no emotion in his preaching or showing no humanity in his writing. One comments that Calvin lacked “sympathy and charm,” and that his preaching suffered a “deficiency of imagination.” (Beecher, 125) Another wrote, “The great trouble with John Calvin was that he had no heart.” (Vollmer, Good, & Roberts, 363-64) Whether you view these assertions as true or not, it’s certainly legitimate to say that there’s a palpable emotional difference that makes Luther more widely appealing than Calvin. At least at the outset.

It’s a misconception to believe that Calvin had no heart. And such is what Obbie Tyler Todd and I tackle today.

Today’s Guest: Obbie Tyler Todd

In this edition of Ministry Minded, Obbie and I attempt to dismember the common misconceptions regarding the life and ministry of John Calvin. Our aim is to speak to these stigmas in an effort to restore to conventional understanding Calvin’s forgotten pastoral heart. Where some see him as all academic, Calvin was all Bible. His formative principle remained sola Scriptura. This was the basis for all ensuing conclusions.

I pray this episode is useful, enlightening, and encouraging, as we strive to pay homage to the most revered of the Reformers and his life of Scripture and self-denial.