Martin Luther and John Calvin are two influential figures in the 16th-century reformist movement within Christianity. While Luther is considered the father of reform, Calvin’s contributions to cleansing the faith of its ills are equally significant. Both men were known to each other, but they never met or spoke during their lifetimes. The impacts of their beliefs and teachings are still felt in the Christian faith today.
Martin Luther was a German monk who is regarded as the father of the reformist movement in 16th century Western Christianity. In 1521, he introduced The 95 Theses to point out the dogmas and beliefs in the faith that were inconsistent with the scriptures of the Holy Bible. His followers created a new denomination within Christianity known as the Lutheran Church. Luther is credited with being the first Protestant, aiming to rid the Roman Catholic Church of its ill practices. He believed in the supremacy of the Bible and not the supremacy of the Pope.
John Calvin was a prominent pastor in France during the reformist movement. He is credited with a theology in Christian faith referred to as Calvinism. Calvin was a Protestant who had to flee to Switzerland when there was an uprising against Protestants in France in 1530. He is considered to represent the second wave of reformists, though he was a contemporary of Martin Luther.
- Martin Luther was a German monk, while John Calvin was a French theologian.
- Both men wrote in their mother tongues, rendering their writings inaccessible to each other.
- Calvin broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and joined the movement initiated by Luther earlier, while Luther did not break away from the Church but was driven out by Catholics.