Justice and Equity: Calvin’s 1550 Sermon on Micah 2:1


  • Andrew Thompson Scales



This paper examines a new English translation of John Calvin’s sermon on Micah 2:1 by the author, and it explores the sermon’s themes of justice and equity within Calvin’s historical context of Geneva in 1550. An exploration of homiletical influences on the sermon includes consideration of Calvin’s development of “plain sense” preaching. “Plain sense” preaching in Calvin’s writing denotes a rhetorical and exegetical style that draws upon his careful study of John Chrysostom’s sermons, and his attempt in his French-language 1541 Institutes to relate covenant theology to preaching of Old Testament texts. The judgments of the prophet Micah demand the same repentance from ancient Israel, sixteenth-century Geneva, and even contemporary hearers. The paper concludes with reflection on how Calvin’s “plain sense” preaching speaks to matters of justice with respect to mistreatment of immigrants and refugees in a contemporary North American context.

Author Biography

Andrew Thompson Scales

Rev. Andrew Thompson Scales, born 1985, is PhD Candidate in Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ.