7 Broken Men: John Calvin

7 Broken Men: John Calvin

This is the third in my series 7 Broken Men, looking at how God has worked through even the most deeply flawed individuals throughout history. You can read the first two here and here. John Calvin was born Jean Cauvin in 1509 in Noyon, France. His father Gérard Cauvin was severe. And controlling. He was a registrar of the government of Noyon, a solicitor in the ecclesiastical court, fiscal agent of the county, secretary of the bishopric, and attorney of the cathedral chapter. All that made him a government bureaucrat, a legal officer, and a religious boffin rolled into one. The worst kind of control freak, a religious one. Let’s just say, Gérard Cauvin liked to be obeyed. Calvin’s mother died when he was a child, leaving him under the control of the pedantic and imposing Monsieur Cauvin, who had decided that it would do his career no harm at all for him to hand his three sons – Charles, Jean, and Antoine – over to the church to become priests. There would be no negotiation.  He secured for them the best education available, insisted they fraternize only with the children of prominent families in Noyon, and fixed them up with ecclesiastical patrons. When Calvin was only 12, his father had a tonsure shaved into his head, and he was told he

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