Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

H. Henry Meeter Center: Specializing in John Calvin, Calvinism, the Reformation, and Early Modern Studies


John Calvin's 497th Birthday Party (2006)

Jean Calvin (played by Ryan Noppen, Program Coordinator, H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies) presented the annual two-minute lecture!

The Two-minute Birthday Lecture

Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs!

Yes it is I, Jean Calvin, who once again has returned from the sweet hereafter to admonish my followers for yet again failing to grasp the true essence of my Opera.

However, this chastisement was almost all for naught! I have discovered a very militant attitude around here.

First there was the petition to prevent my appearance by lingering followers of Michael Servetus.

Then I tried to bring my Opera before the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church. It was refused since it was not an overture.


Since I am from France I understand what it is like to be militant but I am surprised to find it here among traditionally neutral Hollanders.

And then there is all this talk about Just War. Again, so militant. But let me reassure you that I, Jean Calvin, have the answer for you all.

When I founded the Academy in Geneva I wrote on war. I wrote to my French friends “Send me raw wood and I will give you back arrows.” Of course by that I meant for them to send me students and I, Jean Calvin, would in turn send them missionaries. Is this what is meant by holy war? But now you may ask what would I, Jean Calvin, say regarding Just War? I would say this: That it is not games, it is not shenanigans, it is not fun, but that it is just war.

Now that I have once again dealt with the Q’s and A’s of modern times, I shall act as a good Frenchman and retreat, leaving you to indulge in the saying of a great Frenchwoman, “let them eat cake!”

Au revoir!