Encounter faith at Calvin
I was fortunate enough not only to attend the college, earning my BA in 1982, but also to attend the seminary for a year in order to complete my MA in theology from Fuller Seminary. In my time at Calvin, I was always impressed (and challenged) by the deep faith of my professors as well as my fellow students. Coming from a non-CRC (and non-Dutch) background, I was not sure what to expect when I first began attending Calvin. I have to say that my experiences while there, as well as since then, do not even come close to how the author of the “Second place?” letter describes the college or the seminary. Calvin is a place where one encounters a deep and vibrant Christian faith, and the editor was correct simply to offer anyone the opportunity to experience that for him or herself.
Robert Postic ’82
John Calvin's reputation questioned
John Beversluis ’56
Thank you for your correspondence regarding John Calvin and the execution of Michael Servetus in 1553 in Geneva.
Servetus’ theological beliefs included denying the existence of the Trinity. In the 16th century, he would have been put to death in Catholic areas as well as Protestant ones. In fact, had he remained in prison in France, where he was first arrested, he would undoubtedly have been burned there, too—he was burned in effigy after he carried out a successful jailbreak.
So Geneva and Calvin were not crueler to Servetus than other locations or individuals at the time would have been. That does not of course excuse the behavior of our early modern ancestors, who thought it was perfectly all right to execute people for what they labeled as blasphemy and/or heresy and torture them in a variety of ways. But perhaps singling Calvin out for particular criticism would be somewhat unfair. He was a man of his times, and the 16th century, much as we might like it to have been different, was not an age of toleration.
You can read Ms. Maag's essay about John Calvin, "The Legacy of John Calvin," from the Summer 2009 issue of Spark.
Less Calvin needed
Pam Vander Jagt Reitsema ’70
Nursing degree is possible
Eleanor Miner Teat ’49
Blessed by trailblazers
Peter Szto ’77
Shield, sword or lance?
Nowhere in the article do you state which accessory was selected: shield, sword or lance. It is also not shown in the picture which accompanies the article.
Elaine Geelhood Olson ex’71
Joust carries a shield and occasionally wields a sword. —Editor
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