But with the immediate (helpful and true) caveat:
In his own words, don’t celebrate the birthday boy unless he helps lead you deeper into a Gospel-soaked piety.
Is Calvin, the man born this day in 1509 in Noyon, France, still relevant? Fortunately, Pope Francis is helping keep Calvin’s ideas current by issuing a new indulgence today:
Pope Francis will grant a plenary indulgence – a remission of all temporal punishment due to sin – to World Youth Day Catholic participants, the Vatican announced July 9…
They will also need to invoke “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Brazil (with the title Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Aparecida) as well as other patrons and intercessors of the same meeting, that they may encourage the young to reinforce their faith and lead a holy life.”
The granting of indulgences by the Pope comes from Jesus’ response to Peter, the first Pope, when he proclaimed that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” in Matthew 16.
Scott Clark points out that Calvin (like Luther) had quite a bit to say about indulgences:
Now very many persons see the base tricks, deceits, thefts, and greediness with which the indulgence traffickers have heretofore mocked and beguiled us, and yet they do not see the very fountain of the impiety itself. Continue reading