Contributions of John Calvin to the Church

Sample Term Paper

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The most important step taken by him was the reorganization of the church, especially its supremacy and also a social hierarchy of the church and the city. He was the first Christian reformer in history; Calvin was able to recreate the church’s organization based on biblical principles. At first, this change did not go over well.  He was the one who confronted the problem of governance of church by creating a hierarchy which was meant to have succession and developed a catechism designed to impose the doctrine on all the members of the church.

He followed the evidence of the earliest churches available in the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles. Calvin divided church organization into four levels:

  1. Pastors: These were five men who implement authority over religious matters in Geneva;
  2. Teachers: This was a larger group whose job it was to teach doctrine to the people.
  3. Elders: The Elders were twelve men (after the twelve Apostles) who were select by the municipal council; their job was to supervise everything that everybody did in the city.
  4. Deacons: Modeled after the Seven in Acts 6-8, the deacons were chosen to care for the sick, the old, the widowed and the poor. (Hooker)

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