The Betrayal — Douglas Bond

One of my all-time favourite movies is Luther, the 2003 film based on the early life of the German Reformer.  It has often seemed to me that those involved with writing and producing this movie had read Heiko Oberman’s Luther: Man Between God and the Devil.  I’ve also often thought that, even if the film takes a few dramatic liberties here and there, Luther’s life lends itself well to that kind of story-telling.  Unlike Calvin.  I’ve long believed that Calvin’s life, interesting though it is, does not have nearly the same drama as Luther’s.  Douglas Bond has convinced me that I’m wrong.  In this novel he succeeds at portraying Calvin’s life in a compelling way.  No, unfortunately Calvin still doesn’t really have a sense of humour (certainly not compared to Luther).  Yes, Bond does take a few small liberties for the sake of the story too.  But overall, I think this historical novel succeeds.  I quite enjoyed it and if ever someone should want to make a film based on Calvin’s life, The Betrayal would be a great basis.  Following the book, one of the things the film would certainly do is set the record straight on Calvin’s role in the burning of Servetus.

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

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