So lately, in my quest to understand the "Reformation faiths" more clearly, I've been comparing Martin Luther and John Calvin. I think many people might sort of lump them together, and that could not be more inaccurate. These men lived around the same time and both advocated "reformed" faith systems, but beyond there the similarities end. I've noted that Martin Luther was witty, open, and tongue-in-cheek, while John Calvin preferred a more mature, straightforward, and soul-searching approach. Of course, being a Lutheran, perhaps I have a bit of bias :-)
This isn't to say who's right and who's wrong (both had their ups and downs) but their differences *are* intriguing. For instance, Martin Luther understood that humans were enveloped in sin, but he chose to speak of how we might make our hearts light and rise above our failings, how we might find God. John Calvin had that same understanding of sin but chose to make very certain that Christians understood exactly where they stood as far as being corrupted. His views were presented in a no-nonsense scholarly manner and usually cut straight to the point. Granted, I haven't done that much comparative study between Calvin and Luther . . . I've studied the differences in the faiths they fathered, but not so much in the men themselves. Perhaps I'll find some contradictions to these rules.
I do think it's fascinating that their differing personalities show in their quotes. Today I've showcased some of my favorite John Calvin quotes:
"Without the fear of God, men do not even observe justice and charity among themselves."
"There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God."
"In forming an estimate of sins, we are often imposed upon by imagining that the more hidden the less heinous they are."
"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."
"We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown."
Though Calvin might not have dispensed his humor quite so freely as Luther, there is one quote of his that shows his witty side, a quote I have always found particularly amusing:
"I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels."
Martin Luther would be proud! :-)
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved