What Is Reformed Theology and Where Did it Come From?
Slide 1 of 7
Reformed theology first and foremost comes from the Reformation of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a movement that spanned decades, beginning during the 16th century amongst a multitude of men. The first well known reformer was an Augustinian Monk named Martin Luther. He’s known for starting the Reformation against the Roman Catholic Church by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517.
Although Luther (1483–1546) is one of the most well-known reformers, and often attributed to the start of the Reformation, God was at work within others. Zwingli (1484–1531), Latimer (1487–1555), Bucer (1491–1551), Tyndale (ca. 1494–1536), Melanchthon (1497–1560), Rogers (1500–1555), Bullinger (1504–1575), and Calvin (1509–1564) all followed suit.
Each of these men saw the spiritual deadness and lack of commitment to God’s Word in the Roman Catholic Church, and began protesting the current climate of darkness. God used the reformers in their own unique way to uncover and renew the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which had been trampled on by man-made religion and tradition. In an article by Stephen Lawson on The Reformation and The Men Behind It, he explains the Reformation as such:
“The Reformation was essentially a crisis over which authority should have primacy. Rome claimed the church’s authority lay with Scripture and tradition, Scripture and the pope, Scripture and church councils. But the Reformers believed that the authority belonged to Scripture alone.”
The reformers’ main goal was to bring God’s Holy Word back to the forefront of Christianity. And now, because of God’s work through these men, the church has been reformed, and is continually being transformed by the Word of God. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at 5 things all Christians should understand about Reformed theology.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/AVTG