Confession: I am not an expert on Reformed Theology.
Reality: No one is!
Many claim to know the doctrine of Reformed Theology, but in reality, the views, teachings and conclusions differ as much as personalities. No one can be an expert in something that is so fluid in its development. Reformed Theology has no North Star other than the ever-changing winds of human conclusion. While they claim Bible authority, the truth is, the teaching of Reformation leaders such as Luther, Calvin, Zwingly, and scores of modern-day Calvinists are always used as the filter through which they interpret Scripture. Without a rock-solid, immovable anchor point (biblical harmony), doctrine becomes the proverbial beach ball. Everyone tries to keep it aloft by poking at it with their own versions of human opinion. (Example: I challenge readers to take a general survey of the many online quotes being posted by Reformed Theologists. Be sure to take note of the number of times human scholars are used as the foundation for their doctrinal conclusions. Contrast that with the lack of emphasis placed on biblical quotes.)
Reformed Theology has no end game. It is an ongoing process of human effort that turns the study of God into a pursuit of man's definition of God. Restored Theology, on the other hand, is the ongoing process of Divine effort within the heart of students who wish to discover God's definition of Himself. The word "reformed" implies adjustments, alterations, tweaking. The word "restored" implies a finished condition.
Galatians 1:6-9 (NKJV)
"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed."
The Gospel is not subject to human reformation! The message has been completed. The warning against tampering has been doubly made. The assignment is clear. Let the Bible interpret the Bible!
While I am not an expert in Reformed Theology, I am quite familiar with Calvinism, the foundational teachings of this movement. By dissecting the teachings of Calvin, we can begin to understand the reason for the plethora of doctrines being bounced around like that proverbial beach ball. Reformed Theology is simply Calvinism applied in a hundred different directions. It is the purpose of this series to examine the evolution of Reformed Theology and show that a foundation which is poorly laid (human doctrine) can only lead to a structure that is destined for destruction.
Missed the first part of this study? Check it out!
The Evolution of Reformed Theology: "When Calvinism is Applied - Part 1"
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