Presbyterian Church History

Picture of John Calvin

French lawyer John Calvin’s (1509 – 1564) writings brought together the core beliefs of the Reformed movement that led to the founding of Scottish Presbyterianism by clergyman John Knox (c. 1513 – 1572).

He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrines of predestination and of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation.

John Knox (c. 1513 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer who was a leader of the country’s Reformation. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

He advocated violent revolution and was a man of many paradoxes–a Hebrew Jeremiah set down on Scottish soil.  In a relentless campaign of fiery oratory, he sought to destroy what he felt was idolatry and to purify Scotland’s religion.  His legacy is large: his spiritual progeny includes some 750,000 Presbyterians in Scotland, 3 million in the United States, and many million more worldwide.