18 votes
Accepted

Do Calvinists believe they know whether they are saved?

Calvinists indeed believe they can only make educated guesses about others; if someone you thought was saved falls away, the conclusion is they were never actually saved. But Calvinism teaches that "...
16 votes
Accepted

According to Calvinism, why does God give mercy to some and not to others?

Because he wants to, and certainly not because of anything they've done or will do. One of the central tenants of this concept for Calvinists is that it's not what you do (or have done, or even will ...
  • 6,997
14 votes
Accepted

How do Calvinists account for Calvin's statements on atonement?

I see three questions beneath your one question, and I will handle them each separately. Are Calvinists allowed to disagree with Calvin? First of all, they get their name from him because they are ...
13 votes
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If God "shows no partiality," how do Calvinists defend predestination?

Summary: Calvinists interpret these passages as referring to God's righteousness and justice — that he is a fair judge, consistently judging sin as wrong, whether committed by rich or poor, strong or ...
12 votes
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How do various traditions define the term "sufficient grace"?

If you do research on Calvinism, Jansenism, Pelagianism, etc., you might find the term "sufficient grace" bandied about. The trouble is, depending on who's using it, it's defined differently, which ...
11 votes
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Did the authors of the Westminster Standards accept Roman Catholic baptisms as valid?

There is nothing absolutely specific in the Westminster Confession about Roman Catholic baptism. What there is supports its validity. However there was a long-established acceptance of baptism by ...
  • 7,180
10 votes
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How do "once saved, always saved" advocates explain the Parable of the Sower?

As expected, "once saved, always saved" advocates (I'll use "reformed" as shorthand for this) generally agree that both the second and third types of soil represent people who were ...
10 votes
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How do Calvinists explain God's wanting no one to perish and electing some to judgement?

The typical Calvinist response to this question is captured well by Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology: [1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9] speak of God's revealed will (telling us what we should do)...
10 votes
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According to Reformed churches, is the trinity a finalized doctrine?

Yes and no. That is, in simple terms: No, the doctrine of the Trinity is not "finalized" or "completed" – Reformed theologians regularly debate the intricacies of this doctrine Yes, the doctrine of ...
10 votes
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How can there be Five Sola's (Solae) in Reformed theology?

I can see how this would look confusing and logically incoherent, but the reason that 5 statements, each about "something alone" can co-exist is that each of them achieves something different "alone". ...
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10 votes
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Is the choice, or decision, to accept Salvation through Jesus Christ a Work?

You've fallen into a common trap of examining a single piece of a theological system by importing that piece into your own construct rather than seeing how it fits into its own context. A Reformed ...
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10 votes
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Do Reformed theologians understand the Catholic Church and the Papacy to have been true heirs of Peter until the Reformation?

It is clear from John Knox's words, recorded at his meeting with Queen Mary at Holyrood in 1561 (accompanied by Lord James Stewart) that the reformer regarded the Papacy to be an intrusion and the ...
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9 votes
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Is God's sovereignty a term associated with Reformed theology?

While the idea of God's sovereignty is closely associated with Reformed theology, other traditions also deal with it. Here are a few examples from prominent authors from various traditions. Lutheran: ...
9 votes
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Ephesians 2:2, which one comes first in the Calvinist view?

From Calvin's commentary on Ephesians 2:2 : We may now draw from it also this inference, that ungodly men have no excuse in being driven by Satan to commit all sorts of crimes. Whence comes it that ...
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9 votes
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What is the appeal of John Piper (Desiring God Ministries)?

I can understand your question. I may not agree with John Piper all the time, but when I would like a 21st century Reformed position on an issue or a Bible verse interpretation, especially when there ...
8 votes

What did Calvin think about Knox's "Monstrous Regiment"?

The summary in Mike's answer seems accurate. I would like to add some further background and primary sources. Evidently, Calvin felt it necessary to write to Sir William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I's ...
8 votes

What happens if someone who is not elect tries to seek God?

[...] does the mere act of seeking God mean that the person must be elect? Yes. Reformed theology must be understood wholesale. If you pick and choose some ideas and don't put them in the context of ...
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8 votes
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How have Calvinist theologians dealt with statements about God repenting?

John Calvin does indeed treat this verse. He says:1 By saying אולי, auli, “if peradventure,” he made use of a common mode of speaking. God indeed has perfect knowledge of all events, nor had he any ...
8 votes

Why must God reach the fullness of Glory (reformed theology)?

Let me answer a few of your side-concerns before I get to your main question. Reformed theology stresses that God created the universe for one purpose: to glorify him fully I'm not certain how ...
8 votes
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Who first said, "We are all born Pelagians?"

Roger Nicole was certainly not the first to say this. The quote can be traced to two 17th-century English authors, Thomas Manton and Nathaniel Culverwell. Culverwell's version of the quote appears ...
8 votes

What does TULIP stand for?

The tulip acronym stands for the following: Total depravity, the idea that man can do only evil without God. Unconditional election, the idea that the saved are chosen by God without any ...
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8 votes
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According to Reformed theology, where is the Scriptural evidence for homoousion?

Before we get into the weeds, here are the main points that I intend to impart: Reformed theology generally accepts the church fathers' wisdom on the homoousion. The concept of homoousion, not the ...
8 votes

According to Calvinists, does God command the non-elect to do what is for them impossible?

Monstrous surely is the madness of the human mind, that it is more disposed to charge God with unrighteousness than to blame itself for blindness. Before answering positively, allow me to object to ...
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7 votes

What is the Biblical basis for Limited Atonement?

Limited Atonement Defined Limited atonement is defined in the Canons of Dort: The Second Main Point of Doctrine: Christ's Death and Human Redemption Through It Article 3: The Infinite Value ...
7 votes
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How can God be Sovereign (in the Reformed sense) if a man can ignore His call to repentance?

To understand the Reformed approach to this challenging question, we should begin with the concept of the "wills" of God. Reformed theologians typically refer to the relevant ones as the ...
7 votes
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What is the biblical basis for the Covenant of Redemption?

The Covenant of Redemption in the Bible Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but ...
7 votes
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What was at issue in the Clark-Van Til controversy?

Theological issues To get it straight from the horses' mouths, you can read Van Til's complaint [PDF] and Clark's answer [PDF] online. Both are very long and in-depth and also spend a good deal of ...
7 votes

How does Reformed Theology consider passages that may imply that God is the "subject of sufferings"?

The point Edwards makes here is that since God accomplishes his purposes in all things, even evil things, he cannot be said to be carried away by emotions and thus experience involuntary ecstasy or ...
7 votes
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How does Reformed Theology reconcile Jesus' meaningful temptation and impeccability?

This is admittedly a difficult problem that Reformed theologians have addressed in several different, though related, ways. Louis Berkhof mentions several approches to reconcile the "reality of the ...
7 votes
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What is an overview of Reformed beliefs about hell?

Like most labels, Reformed theology defies clean boundaries, especially on a divisive topic like this one. But if we consider the term broadly, we will notice that the positions tend to follow those ...

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