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The Reformed tradition

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1 The Reformed tradition
Chapter 20 The Reformed tradition

2 Questions to be addressed in this chapter
How did the Reformed tradition emerge as distinct from Lutheranism? What was Calvin’s contribution to Reformed theology? What were some significant developments in Reformed thought after Calvin? How was disagreement between Calvinists and Arminians resolved in Holland?

3 The great sola statements
sola gratia (grace alone): justification is by God’s gift of grace, not because of any merit on the part of humans; sola fide (faith alone): this gift is received through faith, not by doing any good works; sola scriptura (Scripture alone): the final authority of doctrine and practice is the Bible, not the Church. (p. 337)

4 Zwingli Swiss theologian and pastor (1484-1531).
Debated with Luther on the nature of the Eucharist, interpreting it symbolically. Influence of philosophical ideas on the doctrine of predestination. The providence of God precludes human free will and turns into the distinctive Reformed doctrine of sovereignty.

5 Calvin ( ), born in France but spent most of his life in what is now Switzerland. Most important Reformed theologian, though drew heavily from Zwingli and Bullinger. Objective is to work out the logic of the idea of God inherited from Zwingli and to produce scriptural support. All God’s decrees are for God’s glory.

6 Beza and Arminius Theodore Beza ( ) succeeded Calvin in Geneva. Attempted to work out the logic of Calvin’s theology, arguing for supralapsarianism. Jacob Arminius ( ) argued against supralapsarianism and its seeming fatalism, emphasizing human free will. Monergism vs. synergism.

7 The remonstrance of 1610 and the Synod of Dort
The Remonstrance of 1610 detailed five points of disagreement with Calvinist theology. The Synod of Dort convened in 1618 to respond, condemning the “Arminians” and detailing their own five points.

8 Five points of Calvinism
Unconditional election: God’s predestination is not based on his foreknowledge, but completely on his own choice. Limited atonement: Christ did not die for the sins of all, but only for the elect. Total depravity: since the Fall, every person inherits a corrupt nature that makes them incapable of any good. Irresistible grace: God’s saving grace offered to the elect cannot be refused. Perseverance of the saints: once saving faith has been given to people, it cannot be revoked. (p. 347)

9 Summary of main points Zwingli disagreed with Luther on the Eucharist and developed an understanding of God influenced by his humanist education. Calvin became the greatest articulator of the Reformed doctrines, interpreting Scripture to be fully supportive of them. Beza was influential in developing the stricter supralapsarian version of Calvinism; Arminius considered himself Reformed but objected to Calvinist doctrines. The Arminian Remonstrance of 1610 was condemned by the Synod of Dort, which identified the “Five Points” of Calvinism.

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