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Faith and Learing - Reformed Identity

What does "Reformed" mean?

Main Entry: re·formed
Function: adjective
changed for the better
2: capitalized : PROTESTANT; specifically : of or relating to the chiefly Calvinist Protestant churches formed in various continental European countries.

While the debate over what it means to be Reformed is not a new one, it is arguable that the stakes of the discussion are now higher than they have ever been before. Whose vision of the Reformed faith is the most biblical? Whose version of being Reformed most accurately reflects the true trajectory of the Reformers' theology and practice? What, if any, are the essential tenets of this tradition?

While the answers to these questions may not be entirely clear, what is clear is that open discussion with one another is a necessary prerequisite to reaching answers that will strengthen our Reformed identity as an institution and individualy. Occasionally, lectures and dialogues are co-sponsored by the Meeter Center and the Dean of the Chapel's office on this topic.

We also recommend sinking your teeth into some of the excellent, and widely divergent, books and articles that have been written on this topic.

Recommended Reading:

What Does it Mean to be Reformed: An Identity Statement
A new pamphlet published by CRC Publications and authored largely by Duane Kelderman, Vice President of Administration at Calvin Seminary. Download it here as a PDF file. [Note: This identity statement is also downloadable in Spanish and in Korean versions. These links will open PDF files. ]

Michael S. Horton, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002, 2nd ed.
A layperson's introduction to the five points of Calvinism.

John H. Leith, An Introduction to the Reformed Tradition: A Way of Being the Christian Community. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1981.
Long a standard exposition of the Reformed faith; written by a Union Seminary professor.

Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Engaging God's World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

James B. Torrance, Worship, Community & the Triune God of Grace. Downers Grove: IVP, 1996.

B.B. Warfield, "Calvinism." In The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, Vol. 5, pgs. 353-369. Grand Rapids: Baker, repr. 2000.
An old Princeton perspective on the essential tenets of Calvinism.

David F. Wells, Reformed Theology in America. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997.
With a very interesting forward by George Marsden, well worth reading.