Reformed Theology Rocks!

Reformed theology rocks, for a variety of reasons. I am currently reading Jan Rohls book Reformed Confessions: Theology from Zurich to Barmen. Columbia Series In Reformed Theology, which is a resource I briefly referenced in a chapter I wrote for our edited book Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church. As I have been reading this book I have been getting encouraged again about why Reformed theology is such a boon for the weary theological soul.

Primarily the thing that has attracted me most to Reformed theology over the years is of a dogmatic interest; i.e. the Sovereign reality of who the Triune God is, and the primacy of grace serve to shape the Reformed theological trajectory in ways that other theological approaches do not, in my view. Truly, there are different ways to emphasize this reality within the Reformed approach[es], and we as evangelical Calvinists have our own unique way of emphasizing who God is for us in Christ, but in the main there is a common thread that unites all instances of Reformed theology; that common theme, again, is an emphasis upon who God is, and the primacy of grace in a God-world/Creator-creature relation.

For example there is something very comforting that arises from the words found in the Heidelberg Catechism, in regard to who God is, and what our relation to him is. When you are reading the Heidelberg Catechism you will immediately be confronted with question 1 that says this:

Question 1.

What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer.

That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j) (a) Rom.14:7,8. (b) 1 Cor.6:19. (c) 1 Cor.3:23; Tit.2:14. (d) 1Pet.1:18,19; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:2,12. (e) Heb.2:14; 1 John 3:8; John 8:34-36. (f) John 6:39; John 10:28; 2 Thess.3:3; 1 Pet.1:5. (g) Matt.10:29-31; Luke 21:18. (h) Rom.8:28. (i) 2 Cor.1:20-22; 2 Cor.5:5; Eph.1:13,14; Rom.8:16. (j) Rom.8:14; 1 John 3:3.

This is a perfect example of the kind of riches available for the Christian person who takes advantage of the heritage provided for in the Reformed Christian faith. There is a hope and a warmth in knowing God as Father, and that we are related to him as a result of his love for us in the dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, and that our relationship to this Father-Son God is assured and guaranteed to us by the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is this Triune reality that Reformed theology, from a Protestant vantage point, does such a good job of emphasizing.

On a personal note: One reason I find this so encouraging is that this heritage is such a harbinger to my weary soul as I engage with the world who rejects, by and large, thoughtfulness about life, and greater reality such as God represents. It is encouraging to know that I have somewhere to go to quench my thirst, theologically, and in a way that there is a depth dimension provided for in an through the people that God was ministering to centuries ago in his church in the Reformation period.

These are some reasons why I think Reformed theology rocks (there are many other reasons), and why I would like to commend it to you for your consideration, if you have never taken advantage of the deeper theological realities provided for in the Reformed angle of the Christian faith. soli Deo Gloria!

 

 

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