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Why I have embraced Reformed Theology…

by randy on January 10th, 2009

I remember a time ago when I looked down on those who embraced reformed theology.  I suppose it is natural for us to despise what we do not understand.  I had preconceived notions as to what reformed theology was and in my circle there were negative connotations tied to those who were part of it.

When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.  Just as the Reformers protested the corrupt teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, so today evangelicalism itself is in need of a modern reformation.  Simply put, it is the theology of the Protestant Reformers and the heart of historical evangelicalism.  As C.H. Spurgeon once said, Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.

These two messages by R.C Sproul are the first two in a series entitled “What is Reformed Theology?”  Perhaps they will answer some questions:

Get the full series here:
And so you ask:

Doesn’t reformed theology mean that you no longer pray, worship or exhibit emotion for God?  Isn’t it dry intellect study of God and the scriptures?
NO!  While i’m sure there are those in any circle of Christianity who approach God with a mere intelect-only approach: the bible commands us to love the Lord our God with all our HEART, SOUL and MIND.  We are to worship God with 100% (all) of our emotions, 100% (all) of our character and 100% (all) of our intelect.

Doesn’t reformed theology reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit and Miracles?
Nope.  The reformers did not seem to address this at all.  What you will find however is that those who embrace both reformed theology and the gifts of the spirit do so within biblical reason.  That is to say you won’t find barking, “holy” laughter or slaughterings in the spirit.

I heard people in reformed circles don’t believe in evangelism, is that true?
Many of the faithful men I know who consistently share their faith or have heavy hearts for missions are reformed.  The bible commands us to make disciples of all nations.  Evangelism is an essential part of the Christian faith and those who hold to a reformed understanding of the doctrines of salvation have historically been at the frontlines of prayer, missions and evangelism.

Aren’t reformed folks also Calvinists?
It depends.  If your understanding of calvinism matches my understanding of it three years ago then no.  Actually this topic both amuses me and saddens me all at the same time.  God used both Luther and Calvin to challenge the Roman Catholic church’s unbiblical doctrines.  Both Calvin and Luther contended for the faith and set the church off in reformation.

The controversy between Arminianism and Calvinism arose in Holland in the early 1600’s (after Calvin’s death). The founder of the Arminian party was Jacob Arminius (1560-1609).  He studied at Geneva and became a professor of theology at the University of Leyden in 1603.  Gradually Arminius came to reject certain teachings of the Christian faith including original sin and total depravity.  Why this is still in debate or why Christians aren’t sure where to side I don’t know!  Having once been there myself I can say from experience: the lack of understanding and mis-conceptions transferred from Arminians and fatalists (hyper-calvinists) leaves men afraid to accept the biblical teachings of depravity and election.

The so-called Five Points of Calvinism were not chosen by the Calvinists as a summary of their teaching. They emerged as a response to the Arminians who chose these five biblical points to oppose.

For more details see John Piper’s desiring God website on Calvinism.

What about the end-times?
Reformed theology makes no real distinction.  Some are pre-trib, some post-trib… Others reject modern dispensationalism entirely.  Biblically: we should be in expectation of the Lord’s coming at any given moment of time.

From → Doctrine

  1. What personally showed you the importance of reformed theology? No need to go into extreme detail (like sharing information about specific events, etc.) but it would be nice to understand what led you to view reformed theology as being so necessary for the modern church. If everyone had perfect theology, then there wouldn’t be a need for an emphasis on reformed theology or any other theological movement, so you must be seeing things in today’s church that you feel needs to be addressed. Would be cool to hear your opinion on this and how you feel that a refocusing on reformed theology could help correct this.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    The Paul Washer video really sums up why I am frustrated about my church and why I have a hard time attending there right now. They do “decisional” altar calls. Yes, people do get saved, but I think it also deceives believers (me included) about the nature of salvation. Also, the Sunday messages are all geared towards an emotional altar call to the unsaved, yet I don’t get much that challenges believers. I really do think that this is a disservice to everyone when the altar call is used to “get new believers” out of an emotional response. I also need to ask myself what percentage of myself I have given to God, because the altar calls and appeals certainly aren’t challenging me to give more. Since we started going to this church again, this has been bothering me, but I haven’t been able to understand the problem very deeply until viewing the Paul Washer video. I just knew that I wasn’t being challenged on a personal level to walk closer with Christ. And this all ties in to assurance of salvation as well. I’m really tired of watered-down Christianity for the masses.

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