Darrow Miller and Friends

John Calvin on Discipling the Nations

Most Christians have heard the name John Calvinone of the leading Protestant reformers. Not as many know the scope of his influence on the city of Geneva, the nation of Switzerland, and all of Europe and the West.

The legacy of John Calvin was both deep and broad, partly due to his remarkable intellect and exemplary devotion to Christ and His kingdom, and partly due to the historical moment in which he lived. And there’s at least one more dimension of Calvin’s impact: he understood the comprehensive nature of Jesus’ claims. John Calvin was a leader in a Reformation movement that taught that “the Bible must be the the source of authority to shape every aspect of people’s lives, and the foundation of truth for entire communities and nations.”

That’s one of the observations in a lucid and helpful paper, “Calvin and Geneva: Nation-Building Missions,” by University of the Nations International Provost Tom Bloomer.

In a fascinating look at John Calvin and his impact on Geneva and beyond, Tom elaborates on the three-fold “strategy of the Reformers …

1. Preaching the gospel to individuals, so that people would be saved and start to be transformed, and the church would be restored to biblical purity;

2. Teaching the city, so that people would know how to live, the authorities would know how to govern, and all would know how to work in their different spheres; and

3. Accountability for individuals and the leadership in spheres of society, so that the teaching would not just be theoretical but applied in all areas of life.”

This sample of Tom’s excellent (16-page) paper is designed to whet your appetite. Go here for the full meal.

– Gary Brumbelow

Tom Bloomer paper on John CalvinTom Bloomer completed a Ph.D. in Theology of Education at Trinity International University in 1999 and has served as the International Provost of the University of Nations since 2001. Teaching the Word is the primary thrust of Tom’s ministry; the challenge before him is to discover what it means to love God not just with our heart, soul and strength, but with our minds as well.


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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.


  1. Jon Davis Jr.

    November 6, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on that paper!

    I clipped it to my Evernote account to read later.

    I have often referred to John Calvin’s example when teaching on applying Christianity to all of life.

    I look forward to reading more.

    It is encouraging to see that Reformation of the Church and Society has been done before! Not perfectly, but it has been done!

    And we can do it again, and take it even further.


    • admin

      November 7, 2013 - 3:22 am

      As Francis Schaeffer use to say: “If you expect perfection or nothing, you will always get nothing!” You are right, Jon, the Reformation had it’s flaws, but God used flawed men and women to alter the course of history in the West.

      Enjoy the read,


  2. Scott Reph

    November 7, 2013 - 8:21 am

    Hi Darrow!

    Your article made me think. Perhaps the Reformation teaching is the basis for the U.S. Constitution.

    Miss you brother,

    Scott & Alpha Reph
    Tampa, Florida

    • admin

      November 7, 2013 - 8:28 am


      Good to hear from you. There is a direct link between the Reformation in Europe and the founding of the USA and the US Constitution. We deal with this, in an introductory way in our book Emancipating The World.

      My best to Alpha,