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The Reformation of the 16th century was not unprecedented. Francis, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, and John Wycliffe addressed abuses in the life of the church in the centuries before 1517.In the 16th century, Erasmus of Rotterdam, a great Humanist scholar, was the chief proponent of liberal Catholic reform that attacked moral abuses and popular superstitions in the church and urged the imitation of Christ, the supreme Timothy George Why the 500-year-old Reformer retains an enthusiastic following today.Few figures in Christian history have been esteemed so highly or despised so meanly as this shy French lawyer born 500 years ago this summer.Born in France in 1509, Calvin was exceptionally brilliant.Initially he intended to be a priest, but he entered the field of law, studying at different universities, including Paris.

TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart even alleged that Calvin "has caused untold millions of souls to be damned." More often than not, though, Calvin has simply been ignored, especially by his cultured despisers.In 1536, Calvin published the first edition of one of the greatest works ever written, At the age of twenty-seven he had already produced a major systematic theology, a clear articulation of Reformation teachings.His writings impressed Guillaume Farel, the Reformer of Geneva, Switzerland. He produced commentaries on almost every book of the Bible.In RCC theology, baptism takes away all sins, original sin and all personal sins, as well as punishment for sin.Baptism also restores sanctifying grace to the soul.

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The resulting intrigues and political manipulations, combined with the church's increasing power and wealth, contributed to the bankrupting of the church as a spiritual force.

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