Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reformed Theology: In Line with Calvin?

The last thirty years has brought much speculation as to whether or not the early Reformed Protestants after Calvin, often called Calvinists, held a theology that was in-line with that reformer whose name graces their "system" of belief. This speculation largely began with R.T. Kendall's book Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649. Although others have answered his book with far more cogent responses than my humble article (including: Joel R. Beeke's Assurance of Faith, Mark E. Dever's "Calvin, Westminster and Assurance" in The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, Vol. 1, and Paul Helm's Calvin and the Calvinists.), I have also thrown my perspective into the fray, particularly where Richard Sibbes, the English Puritan, is concerned.

This paper gives some background on Richard Sibbes and makes the argument that the theology that Sibbes and his Puritan contemporaries espoused was largely the same as Calvin's. Further, the differences that did exist were due not to a changed concept or system of theology, but to emphases within the practical application of that theology to their congregations.

Please feel free to read the article and offer opinions/comments/questions in the comments section.

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