Building on my earlier Calvin post, here's another to do him justice. If he wasn't yet a modernist, he certainly helped move the Reformation away from the static, conservative worldview that defined every society before the modern age and toward the dynamic, evolving modern view we have today. Here are comments from Karen Armstrong in The Battle for God:
[Calvin] believed that Christians should express their faith by taking part in political and social life rather than by retreating to a monastery. Calvin helped to baptize the emergent capitalist work ethic by declaring labor to be a sacred calling, not, as the medievals thought, a divine punishment for sin. Nor did Calvin subscribe to Luther's disenchantment of the natural world. He believed that it was possible to see God in his creation, and commended the study of astronomy, geography, and biology. . . . Calvin saw no contradiction between science and scripture. The Bible, he believed, was not imparting literal information about geography or cosmology, but was trying to express ineffable truth in terms that limited human beings could understand. (p. 67)
That's a remarkably progressive view of things for a religious thinker living before the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. Calvin lived from 1509-64, dying the year Galileo was born.