This chapter asks why Calvin's theology has simultaneously been so widely influential and so heavily criticized from his lifetime until the present. His ability to make Geneva a base for the spread of his ideas, his skillful use of the pulpit, prose, and psalmody, his binding together of doctrine and application, his elaboration of church structures that could function independently of the state, and his simultaneous insistence on the duty of obedience to secular government and the possibility of resisting it by force under tightly specified conditions all help account for the extraordinary spread of his ideas.
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