Luther, at least in the paintings of his more mature years, is corpulent and plump with a wide chest.
He seems to have been a ‘big man’ both in and out of the pulpit, much like George Whitefield. Conversely, Calvin’s life was plagued with continual stomach problems as well as a host of other physical ailments. The expression on Calvin’s face is continually sombre, at least when compared to Luther. It is true that both men were passionate about the recovery of the biblical Gospel.
While Luther’s starting point was faith; Calvin’s was most certainly the grace of the Creator/ Redeemer. What Luther interpreted as physical; Calvin saw as spiritual in the hearts of believers.
07.- The Lord’s Supper One of the key topics during the early years of the Reformation was the Lord’s Supper. In spite of Luther’s breaking with the Roman interpretation of the Mass he did hold a sacramental view of the bread and wine which entirely absent in Zwingli’s thought. 08.- Church and State There is an important disagreement between Luther and Calvin regarding the relationship between Church and State.
Born in France in 1509, he spent most of his ministerial life in Geneva (Switzerland) developing what the Scottish Reformer John Knox would later designate as, “The most perfect school of Christ that ever was in the earth since the days of the apostles. Luther belonged to the first generation of the Protestant Reformation whereas Calvin was a second generation Reformer.
05.- Stature In the portraits that have been handed down to us, there is a clear divergence when we come to talk about the physical appearance of Luther and Calvin.
Thanks to Luther’s bold exploits, he unwittingly gave birth to the Protestant Reformation (although the term didn’t come into household use until some twelve years later).
His Scriptural zeal brought forth a host of pro-Reformation theologians in the shape of Matthias Flacius, Urbanus Rhegius, Johannes Brenz and Martin Chemnitz –“the second Martin”- within the Lutheran camp.
As we Protestants love to recall, it was around this very date on 31st October 1517 when an insignificant Augustinian monk revolutionized European history by nailing his 95 theses to the door of a castle church.
That castle church was in Wittenberg (Germany) and the monk was none other than the critically-acclaimed Martin Luther.