In contrast to Darwin, John Calvin did not reject truth, but wholeheartedly sought truth as found in the unchanging Scriptures. As a 16th century pastor, theologian, and reformer, he was known as a gentle, loving man who had a heart for people. His thorough and meticulous study of the Bible and the writing that flowed from it brought many to embrace biblical truth. Studying the doctrines of the Bible led to his belief in the depravity of man and the perfect holiness of God. His work Institutes in Christian Religion is one of the results of his detailed effort, as it is outstanding in its explanations, refutations, and overall establishment of doctrine, as well as one of the most influential Protestant works. He significantly affected western civilization through his theology that led to the beginning of reformed denominations and the growth of many churches. Calvin believed God’s Word.
Unquestionably, Calvin’s understanding of biblical truth, especially the doctrine of the depravity of man, led to a clear and accurate understanding of man. Calvin believed that man was completely depraved and unable to do good. Calvin explained this in the form of the doctrine of original sin, which states that when Adam sinned we all sinned. Calvin expressed,
“Original sin, therefore, appears to be a hereditary, depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused through all the parts of the soul, rendering us obnoxious to the divine wrath”.Because salvation is not of ourselves and dependent solely on the grace of God, it brings great hope and joy because we can trust and be certain that we have been saved from the wrath and judgment we deserved for our sins. In Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion he states,
“For if it had not been clearly stated that the wrath and vengeance of God and eternal death rested upon us, we would scarcely have recognized how miserable we would have been without God’s mercy, and we would have underestimated the benefit of liberation”.From Calvin’s studies emerged ideas that would effect great change.