Calvinism

A Topical Survey

Clear knowledge of God from his own word is the kindling that sustains the fires of a heart for God. And likely the most crucial kind of knowledge is what God is like in salvation. That is what the five points of Calvinism are about. To experience God fully, we need to know not just how he acts in general, but specifically how he saves us — and in particular, “How did he save me?”

What Is Calvinism?

The system of biblical doctrine often known as “Calvinism” grows out of a deep conviction that God’s glory is the goal of all things, and that his freedom and his sovereignty are essential to his deity. Because God is free and sovereign and glorious, he doesn’t need to be served by anyone to meet his needs and, therefore, he is gloriously free to be gracious to us.

Reformed Theology, Rooted in the Bible

Right thinking about what God himself teaches us about himself, us, our world, and salvation matters deeply. Bad theology dishonors God and hurts people. Churches that sever the root of truth may seem to flourish for a season, but they will wither soon, or turn into something besides a Christian church.

“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4–6)

The “Doctrines of Grace” and the Meaning of Race

God does not choose his people on the basis of skin color or any other racial or ethnic distinctive. No ethnic group can say they are chosen because of God’s preference for their physical, psychological, spiritual, or intellectual qualities. And no ethnic group can say that they are not chosen because of they have or don’t have, what they are or are not. Therefore, the “doctrines of grace” (also known as “Calvinism” or “Reformed Theology”) sever the deepest root of all racism and all ethnocentrism.

Calvinism Humbles, Frees, and Satisfies

God is utterly free to choose who will become Christians. And in his freedom he explodes all worldly expectations of who is “special.” Just when we think we may have him figured out in his choosing, we see he has gone another way. God’s choosing is designed to remove our boasting.

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