What is Reformed Theology?

Reformation Wall in Geneva
Reformation Wall in Geneva

Many times I met people, even leaders in their churches, who didn’t have any idea what Reformed theology is.  It appalls me to realize that most of the professing Christians do not have any knowledge of their root in the 16th century Reformation movement.  Most of them live in the “here and now” self sufficiency attitude, disconnected from the past and the communal sense of the communion of saints that transcends over time.

A few years ago we had a trainer came to my office to train us on a new software program.  I picked her up from the airport, and during our trip to Visalia we talked about church.  She was a lay leader and a Sunday school teacher in her church- an Evangelical Free Church in Wyoming, but she had no idea what Reformed Christian was.One of the tellers at the bank that I used to visit weekly was a youth pastor at his Assembly of God church.  When I told him that I go to a Reformed church, he was puzzled.  “Do you believe in the Bible?”  He asked.  “Of course we do”, I replied.  “Do you do baptism?”  he further inquired.  “You bet we do.”

A few weeks ago I talked with someone who is active in his Pentecostal church.  He would call me “brother Hizkia”.  Again, when I told him that we attend a Reformed church, he asked me “what is that?”  He knew a little bit about Lutheranism, but had no clue about Calvinism.

Most of those who know a little bit about Reformed faith, would reduce Reformed Theology to the 5 points of Calvinism, known by its acronym T-U-L-I-P which stands for Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints.  As true and biblical as they are, 5 points of Calvinism don’t give the whole picture of Reformed Faith.  At best they are the distinctive part of Reformed Theology.

To answer the question, “What is Reformed Theology”, Dr. R.C. Sproul from Ligonier Ministry is currently doing a 12-part teaching series podcast.  I’ve been listening to them every morning, and I would like to share them with you.  If you want to know more about Reformed Theology, I would recommend that you also buy “Grace Unknown: the Heart of Reformed Theology” by Dr. R. C. Sproul.  Please keep in mind that these 12-series teaching and the book will only scratch the surface of the matter.

Here are the link the the 12 series podcast:

Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed
Scripture Alone
Faith Alone, part 1
Faith Alone, part 2
Total Depravity, part 1
Total Depravity, part 2
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

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