Calvin, Servetus, and The Synod of Dort

Before I continue on with my explanation of TULIP (started here and here) I wanted to talk a little about where TULIP came from and the story of John Calvin and Michael Servetus.

A common misconception is that John Calvin actually penned the five points of Calvinism/TULIP. In actuality, they were penned as a response to Five articles of Remonstrance by Jacob Arminius. These articles were reviewed at the Synod of Dort (which gave us the five points of Calvinism) and this was fifty-five years after the death of Mr. Calvin.

On to Calvin. John Calvin seems to have a very bad reputation among his modern day opponents. I have had people that really know virtually nothing about Calvin come out and yell, “Servetus!” while discussing anything to do with the Reformation, Calvinism, etc. For whatever reason, Calvin has been accused of burning Michael Servetus at the stake. This is not true. Servetus was wanted dead by nearly every religion in Europe for blasphemy. At his (Michael Servetus) trial in Geneva Calvin was called in to decide what was and was not blasphemy. Calvin urged the council to act with mercy towards Servetus. Calvin also witnessed to Servetus while he was in prison and all the way to the stake.

If you actually study the life John Calvin you almost have to conclude that he was a humble, man of the Lord. His life is certainly a testimony to that. Was he perfect? Of course not! None, of us are. If you hear the name John Calvin and automatically think “jerk” I encourage you to read about him. Don’t pronounce judgment on someone based on his “followers” or half-truths you may have heard.

I’m hoping to get the “L” of TULIP published soon (please bear with me as I’m trying to pack up my entire house too!)

Be Blessed,


3 thoughts on “Calvin, Servetus, and The Synod of Dort

  1. Dan Barker…the same atheist who once claimed that Calvin preached from the King James Version of the Bible. With that statement alone, that's all we need to know about Barker.

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