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John Calvin and the Calvinist Theology Essay

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It can easily be said that John Calvin (1509-1564), was one of the most influential men of that century. The reason being was for his strict Calvinist theology. Calvin believed that people should live lives that were pleasing to God. However, he also saw that humanity was utterly sinful, and that every person's "afterlife" was predestined by the all-knowing God. Therefore, through intense research, he was able to come up with several life principles. These principles have since been organized into the five key points: Total Depravity of Man, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. (John Calvin) Thus, it was these five points that most people of that time period grew accustomed to.
The first point, Total Depravity of Man, tells us that humanity is almost entirely evil. It is simply not in our nature to do any kind of goodness. Therefore, since we know that God is all about goodness, there seems to be no way we can connect with him. This tells us, that we will also have no desire to follow after goodness (God), unless we can somehow see something in it for ourselves (Grace). This leads us into the second point, Unconditional Election. If we have no intentions of going after the goodness of God, the only chance we have at being saved from the depths of Hell, is for God to grant us that right. This is exactly what God does. According to Calvinism, before any person is born, God has already decided whether or not He wants to grant us salvation. He called these His "elect" or "chosen ones". Now, although this seems to be saying that "free will" does not exist in Calvinism, this is not quite clear to the author. One thing that can be certain, however, is that these early American's...


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...od" into the early Americans. Indeed, this is more than likely why this "fear" or "respect" is still felt by God's people today. After all, he is still the ultimate judge of eternity. Therefore, his people will always respect his judgment, as well as, love Him for His merciful gift of grace.



Works Cited
Bradstreet, Anne. "Contemplations." Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology of American Literature.
New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2008. 99-100.
Edwards, Jonathan. "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Baym, Nina. The Norton
Anthology of American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2008. 198.
John Calvin. 13 September 2011 calvin.html>.
Taylor, Edward. "Meditation 8." Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology of American Literature.
New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2008. 137.



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