Melanchthon was Martin Luther's younger associate in the German Reformation. Luther never met with Calvin, but Melanchthon became friends with Calvin and they often exchanged letters. Luther was 13 years older than Melanchthon and Melanchthon was 12 years older than Calvin. Calvin and Luther disagreed on the eucharist (communion elements). Luther held to the belief of consubstantiation (Christ is actually present IN the bread and wine), but Calvin instead believed Christ was only spiritually present as the elements were being eaten.
Melanchthon originally sided with Luther concerning the Lord's Supper, but later independently broke with Luther on this and went over to Calvin's views.
Melanchthon likewise showed the ability to analyze truth and to think critically concerning Calvin's fatalistic view of divine fore-ordination and predestination. Although Melanchthon originally agreed with Calvin and spoke with Calvin in person and through letters, Melanchthon eventually conceded that man had freedom of will and could accept or reject salvation. Melanchthon did not consider the acceptance of the Gospel as a meritorious work, but said it was man's free will responding to the Truth. On this point he dissented from Calvin.
Melanchthon was a reformation friend of both Luther and Calvin. On several levels he was an equal scholar with them. If he can reject doctrinal positions of both Luther and Calvin, so can you. (source -Philip Schaff, History of The Christian Church, Vol. VIII, p. 387, copyright 1910.)
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