by Loraine Boettner
in ePub, .mobi & pdf formats
The Reformation was essentially a revival of Augustinianism and through it evangelical Christianity again came into its own. It is to be remembered that Luther, the first leader in the Reformation, was an Augustinian monk and that it was from this rigorous theology that he formulated his great principle of justification by faith alone. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and all the other outstanding reformers of that period were thorough-going predestinarians. In his work, 'The Bondage of the Will,' Luther stated the doctrine as emphatically and in a form quite as extreme as can be found among any of the reformed theologians. Melanchthon in his earlier writings designated the principle of Predestination as the fundamental principle of Christianity. He later modified this position, however, and brought in a kind of 'synergism' in which God and man were supposed to co-operate in the process of salvation. The position taken by the early Lutheran Church was gradually modified. Later Lutherans let go the doctrine altogether, denounced it in its Calvinistic form, and came to hold a doctrine of universal grace and universal atonement, which doctrine has since become the accepted doctrine of the Lutheran Church. In regard to this doctrine Luther's position in the Lutheran Church is similar to that of Augustine in the Roman Catholic Church, — that is, he is a heretic of such unimpeachable authority that he is more admired than censured.
To a great extent Calvin built upon the foundation which Luther laid. His clearer insight into the basic principles of the Reformation enabled him to work them out more fully and to apply them more broadly. And it may be further pointed out that Luther stressed salvation by faith and that his fundamental principle was more or less subjective and anthropological, while Calvin stressed the principle of the sovereignty of God, and developed a principle which was more objective and theological. Lutheranism was more the religion of a man who after a long and painful search had found salvation and who was content simply to bask in the sunshine of God's presence, while Calvinism, not content to stop there, pressed on to ask how and why God had saved man.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1 - Before the Reformation
Chapter 2- The Reformation
Chapter 3 - Calvinism in England
Chapter 4 - Calvinism in Scotland
Chapter 5 - Calvinism in France
Chapter 6 - Calvinism in Holland
Chapter 7 - Calvinism in America
Chapter 8 - Calvinism and Representative Government
Chapter 9 - Calvinism and Education
Chapter 10- John Calvin
Chapter 11- Conclusion