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Reformed vs Calvinism

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by Acceptance, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    Would someone be able to 'briefly' explain to me the basic beliefs of Reformed Christians? I have a friend who keeps asking me and I know some very basic stuff but I don't want to tell her wrong info.

    Ex: what makes Reformed different from Calvinists? Is salvation possible for non-Christians? Do Reformists believe in predestination and/or TULIP? etc.

    Thanks guys :)

    Btw: I've been trying to reference her to websites for months, but she has a 1 year old, a full time job, a house, her dad just died, and her husband works full time too. So obviously she doesn't get a chance to do a lot of surfing the web.
     
  2. James1979

    James1979 Regular Member

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    There's a possibility for any person to have salvation, that's decision was already made by God before this world exist, so yes an unbeliever can become a believer if it's God good pleasure to save them..from any denomantion or outside of the church world.

    James
     
  3. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    Thanks James :)
    Is Calvinism and Reformed the same thing? Would you (or anyone really) be able to help me distinguish between the two? Thanks all :)
     
  4. Turn'D-OuT-DiffurnT

    Turn'D-OuT-DiffurnT Now, with even more "pathetique"!

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    Of course, everyone who answers this will have a slightly different view, but I'll give it a shot, believing that I'm more or less qualified to do so. Here it is; most people think of the terms "Calvinist" and "Reformed" as virtual synonyms and use them interchangeably. Others, including myself, get a bit more technical. For instance, Calvinist is more broad and can apply to just about any group or individual (Presbyterian, Baptist, Charismatic, Dispensationalist etc.) that believes in sovereign grace, or the "5 points" of Calvinism as commonly understood. Reformed is narrower, and indicates a belief system much more in line with historic Scottish Presbyterianism and/or Puritans e.g. infant baptism, worship- particularly an adherence to the Regulative Principle, and amillennial or postmillenial eschatology among other things. But, like I said, a lot of people don't make these distinctions, and most 5-point Calvinists will insist they are Reformed, because to them it means the same thing. Hence "Reformed" Baptists and the like. Hope that helps a little anyway.
     
  5. rmwilliamsll

    rmwilliamsll avid reader

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    it is interesting that you would propose this, as Calvin clearly taught infant baptism, and supported church worship changes that presupposed something like the regulative principle. However there is little to no eschatology in Calvin. Most of reformed people agree on the items in institutes books 1-3 and put most if not all the differences in the items expounded in book IV.

    that said, you have a good start with looking at the subsequent history of Calvinist thought, seeing reformed as particularly scottish or english doesnt seem to capture the essential differences however. perhaps listing the various nucleui of reformed thinking: scotland, dutch, swiss, hungarian and trying to see however they diverged from Calvin and from each other would be a useful exercise.
     
  6. Turn'D-OuT-DiffurnT

    Turn'D-OuT-DiffurnT Now, with even more "pathetique"!

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    Thanks rm. You're right and I have no quarrel with anything you said. Certainly it's true that Calvin was a paedobaptist and had those views on worship and a different take on the Lord's Supper than the mere "memorial" significance attached to it by some Baptists and others. I didn't mean to imply that the 5 points represented the breadth and depth of his teaching or "Calvinism" as a system. Perhaps I made the mistake of oversimplification, but I was trying give a more broad and easy to understand explanation without getting bogged down in details that would be difficult for the uninitiated to follow, and, rightly or wrongly, in our time "Calvinism" seems to have taken on a somewhat broader connotation. In no way do I think that my explanation was comprehensive or the best anyone could give or that others aren't free to weigh in. I hope they will!
     
  7. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    This is very interesting to me (and educational) :) At this point I still do need that 'oversimplification' of the beliefs though :blush: I didn't know Calvinists believed in infant baptism. Is this one of those things that Calvin himself believed but as far as Calvinism goes, has evolved (like the virginity of Mary)?

    Thanks guys!
     
  8. RobNJ

    RobNJ Senior Contributor

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    As far as I know, infant baptism was practiced by everyone (including Calvin). 'til the Baptists came around. As a former Elder in the Reformed Church in America, we will baptize anyone from baby to senior citizen, if they haven't been before. We also will baptize by sprinkling, pouring , or immersion (all covered by the Greek verb baptizo). One time there was a woman who had been baptized by immersion, in another denomination, and wanted her daughters baptized the same way. We arranged to go a block over to the Baptist church & use the "wading pool"(sorry, for not remembering the proper term, it's late) in their basement.
     
  9. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    We baptise adults by immersion in my church too (but babies we pour on to, for obvious reasons).

    I love this you guys! It helps me see similarities in our faith's that I didn't know existed. (I'm soooooo sick on the focus of how we're [Catholic/Protestant] different).
     
  10. LuxPerpetua

    LuxPerpetua I am, therefore I love

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    Me too! :)
     
  11. James1979

    James1979 Regular Member

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    I see that water baptism is performed. You don't believe that water baptism helps our salvation do you? I know I don't, because it's simply a sign for those hoping that they would be come saved or had already been saved. We just have to remember that God did all the work to save anyone, because anything we do and thinking this contribute to our salvation is unrighteousness before God.
     
  12. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    Well, yes and no. Catholics (as you may know) don't believe in salvation as a one time event. There is not really a specific moment that we believe one "get's saved", but rather hold the theology that 'I am already saved (Rom 8:24, Eph 2:5-8), but I'm also being saved (1 Cor 1:8, 2 Cor 2:15, Phil 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom 5:9-10, 1 Cor 3:12-15). So that's, obviously, a piece of our theology that differs. -- (Mods, if this is TMI, please remove it, I really don't mean to debate).

    On the other hand, we do believe that baptism is a necessary component for salvation based on passages like John 3:5 "Jesus answered, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" and Mark 16:16 "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved".

    Hope that answers the question :)
     
  13. James1979

    James1979 Regular Member

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    1 Peter 3:21

    The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    This verse is another meaning that the baptism that we are saved from is through the Holy Spirit not water baptism. Because water just cleans the filth off our skin, it in no way saves us at all. Just like the Lord's Supper, by taking a simple cracker or bread and grape juice, that's a sign hoping that God will give us that bread which is Jesus we eat of him because he is the bread of life and blood(grape juice is being used) his blood cleanses our sins and remember them no more. If it's God good pleasure to save that indiviual.

    James
     
  14. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    James,
    I don't really want to get in a debate here, out of respect for the forum rules but more importantly out of respect for the members of the CF members of the faith community who call SR-R home. Could you please explain how your statements correlate to the original post? I'm not sure which belief's you're trying to explain to me (reformed or calvinism). Also, as I said before, I'm still in need of much broader ideas of theology -- I'm definately not ready to examine the scripture to support the belief's of either because I don't even know what all the belief's are yet.

    Thanks for your input though :)
     
  15. cajunhillbilly

    cajunhillbilly Regular Member

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    Did you know Calvin had a great love for the Catholic theologian/saint St. Bernard of Claivaux (I hope I spelled that right)? :wave: :thumbsup:
     
  16. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    No, I didn't know that (and I have no clue if you spelled that right:D ). But it doesn't really surprize me...did you know Luther was a Catholic priest?! I do know that when people like Calvin and Luther broke from the church it was because in their heart of hearts they really felt the church had gone astray. Honestly, I think the reformers did a great service to the Catholic church, because during a time when it's earthly leaders were slipping down the wrong path, people like Luther and Calvin breaking away was exactly what Catholicism needed to 'get back into gear', so to speak.
     
  17. cajunhillbilly

    cajunhillbilly Regular Member

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    Neither Luther nor Calvin wanted to break from Rome, but to lead the Catholic Church back to the simple gospel. If there had been more openness and dialogue at the time of the Reformers, who know what might have developed. :idea:
     
  18. julian the apostate

    julian the apostate rule byzantium

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    cajunhillbilly<<<Did you know Calvin had a great love for the Catholic theologian/saint St. Bernard of Claivaux

    no sh_t, i didnt know that!!

    it has occured to me, that calvin might be more comfortable today in an anglican or roman catholic church than a calvinist church (actually according to some, calvin may not have been calvinite enough to be accepted in some calvinistic denominations)
     
  19. rmwilliamsll

    rmwilliamsll avid reader

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    that was true for Luther in 1517-1519, but not after that.
    it is not true for Calvin, from the beginning of his conversion in 1532(thereabouts) he called for a reformed church, seeing the RC as too corrupt for redemption.....
     
  20. cajunhillbilly

    cajunhillbilly Regular Member

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    Thanks for the correction. I am not an expert in church history.:scratch:
     
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