As historian Mark Noll noted: “If Luther sounded the trumpet for reform, Calvin orchestrated the score by which the Reformation became a part of Western civilization.”
Calvin was born to a staunch Roman Catholic family in 1509 – 26 years after Luther was born – and he was just 8 years old when Luther posted his 95 Theses.
And although he never met Luther personally, he benefited from his writing and admired him greatly. Calvin said of Luther, “God roused Luther and the others, who carried the torch ahead, in order to recover the way of salvation; and by whose service our churches were founded and established.”
Luther and Calvin did not agree on all matters theologically, but they shared many of the same convictions. Like Luther, John Calvin was pressured by his father to study law. However, the moment word reached him that his father had passed away, Calvin switched gears and pursued a study of the classics.