Irony in the Reformation

On August 8, 1535, [early in Calvin’s Geneva] there was a scene of truly collective frenzy when several young men destroyed images and religious objects, crying, “We have the gods of the priests, do you want them?” The crowd then seized fifty consecrated hosts and gave them to a dog for food. “If they are really God, they will not let themselves be eaten by a dog.” (Bernard Cottret, John Calvin: A Biography [Eerdmans/T & T Clark], p. 118)

Regardless of your view of communion, one has to wonder whether they understood the irony of this last statement. Or were they consciously alluding to the mocking words barked at Christ on the cross in Matthew 27:40? “Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God.”


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