On Luther & Calvin

unquenchableflame blogMichael Reeves has provided a wonderful work on the Protestant Reformation for Christians to learn from and enjoy. The Unquenchable Flame is an easy-to-read, page turner in which Reeves writes with great skill and wit.

I especially love this paragraph which describes the differences (and similarities)of Martin Luther and John Calvin, two of the great heroes of the reformation:

John Calvin could hardly have been more different from Luther and Zwingli. He was certainly not Zwingli’s brawny soldier-type. A ‘timid scholar’, he called himself. Nor would he ever have enjoyed one of those raucous meals with the Luthers. Thin as a rake, Calvin was known as a ‘great faster’ who starved himself constantly. At the best of times he ate just one small meal a day so as to clear his mind and protect a body relentlessly besieged by ill-health. Where Luther would roar with laughter and gulp his beer, Calvin would much rather have sat quietly with his books. Where Luther was brash and earthy, Calvin was self-composed and (usually) polite. Both had eyes that people noticed, but where Luther’s were said to twinkle, Calvin’s burned. Both had tempers that could be fearsome when roused, but where Luther was hot, Calvin was cold. Both wrote huge quantities, but where Luther would fire off books like a semi-automatic in a street fight, Calvin would spend years polishing and repolishing his pièce de résistance.

For an engaging read on the reformation, check out Unquenchable Flame. Be sure to read other books written by Michael Reeves, especially Delighting in the Trinity, which is one of my all-time favorites. 


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