What is Calvinism and is it "still around"?

I’ve definitely heard of this thing that came from John Calvin and it’s always had this air of being more like in intellectual trend in (early) Protestant thought than a denomination in a way sort analogous to how Scholasticism was a big intellectual trend in medieval Western Europe.As much as this seems like a typical question to ask on this site could someone define it and/or care to compare it to something else?.

Its a Protestant systematic theology emphasizing Gods sovereignty.

It’s not a denomination but many denominations are influenced by it, mostly the Presbyterians.

Calvinism is more or less defined as the “TULIP” doctrine that Calvin came up with. Presbyterianism and the Dutch Reformed Church (and most churches that call themselves “reformed”) are Calvinist. A number of other Churches - including Southern Baptists and Anglicans have been heavily influenced by Calvinism to the extent that it is generally accepted (if not official) doctrine among them.

Getting back to my first point, TULIP stands for:

Total Depravity (Everyone is a sinner no matter what they do and there is no ability to change that)
Unconditional Election (Salvation belongs to those whom God has predestined to salvation and no one else)
Limited Atonement (The Sacrifice of Christ was only for the above mentioned predestined elect)
Irresistible Grace (You can’t resist God if you are chosen for salvation)
Perseverance of the Saints (Also known as “once saved always saved”, someone who is a member of the elect will always be a member of the elect).

This is Calvinism in its entirety, although this has given rise to a number of areas of scholastic thought and other religious movements (notably anti-nomianism has Calvinistic roots), it is not itself an area open for academic exploration.

You will never find a “St. Mary’s Calvinist Church” but you will find: Presbyterians, Reformed, Congregationalists (such as The United Church of Christ) and some Evangelicals and Baptists influenced by Calvin’s teachings.
Or some call themselves “Non-denominational” heavily influenced by Calvin teachings, or “Christian Church” etc.

God Bless! :slight_smile:

Not to be confused with Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) or Christian Church (Church of Christ) which was founded sometimes in the 1800s but somehow developed into two different groups. They are both Protestant.

Protestantism always amazes me at the ingenuity of the human mind.
It reminds me of card games. Most start with the same pack with four suits and a limited number of cards like the Scriptures, with the jokers standing for the disputed books of the Bible. Some play with them, some don’t.
But from this small pack we have hundreds of different games with different rules. Same with the Scriptures.
Going to some churches reminds me of certain Bridge clubs. You mistakenly drop a card and some old biddy calls “Director! Director!” in an attempt at some small advantage and the complete embarrassment of the novice. Showing your humanity is as equally appalling to some Church goers.

It’s an interesting analogy and helpful. Of course, like any analogy, it breaks down. But it’s still a good analogy.

Here’s a friendly hint–if I were you, I would be careful about sharing this analogy with Evangelical Protestants, including many Baptist and Pentecostal denominations. Many of these denoms do not allow card-playing and consider it devilish, so this analogy would be highly offensive to them.

I would ask first if they believe cards are OK, but even if younger people say it’s OK, be careful–their parents might have been raised to believe that card-playing is sinful, and if their children share your thoughts with their parents, you might end up being condemned by the parents, and this might result in the dialogue between you and the children being curtailed. The Catechism tells us to try to maintain dialogue between Christians who are not Catholics.

If anyone remembers or had heard of Harold Camping, he was a Calvinist. He taught that God had preordained certain people to be saved and certain people to be condemned. One could, however change one’s status from preordained to condemnation to preordained to salvation by begging God for mercy.:shrug:

To echo previous posters, Calvinism is known for “TULIP” or in simple terms: the doctrine of predestination. As for if it’s still around, yes. The “Reformed Church” is Calvinist and many other denominations are influenced by the Reformed tradition to some extent such as Presbyterians.

Yet, it also should be pointed out that their are degrees of Calvinism. Many of the Reformed and Presbyterian churches have toned down their Calvinism over the years as they’ve been influenced by Arminiansim and vice versa.

Me and my brother took religion courses in college that required us to conduct an ethnography on a chosen religious group. I chose the local Episcopal Church. He chose the PC(USA) church.

When my brother asked the pastor about Calvinism and predestination, the pastor basically told him that that’s not what he believed.

Today it is mostly the Reformed Baptist and Primitive Baptists that strongly believe in Calvinism. My Gramma was a Free Will Baptist, they reject Calvinism and are Arminian.

Frank Schaefer the Greek Orthodox son of famous missioner wrote two humerous novels about growing up in a Calvinist family. They are called Portofino and Saving Gramma , Both are good reads.

What did the Episcopal priest tell you when you asked about Calvinism?

I don’t remember Calvinism coming up. I talked to the rector, the parish warden, and someone else. Nice people. What I recall most from the conversation was there explanations of the liturgy, the whens and whys of genuflection, how closely they are required to follow the Book of Common prayer, and the effect that the theological crises within the Anglican Communion was having on their parish and diocese.

When they learned that I was Pentecostal, they told me that quite a few of their parishioners had Pentecostal backgrounds, and the rector talked about feeling the power of God all over him when Bishop Mark Lawrence laid hands on him once.

My brother was with me when I went to the Episcopal Church. When they learned that he hadn’t been baptized the rector stressed how important it was and offered to baptize him anytime.

They were all very nice people. They acted completely different from how I imagined Episcopalians would act.

This was a South Carolina parish a few years before the South Carolina diocese withdrew from the national Episcopal Church.

Thanks for the hint. Well taken. I would never belittle the Scriptures in any such discussion with card playing, as I would understand they might not see the value of the analogy. But Protestants do not recognise a Hoyle as we recognise the Church as a setter of rules of interpretation. Taking the analogy even further they may accuse the Church of being more like a Goren in Bridge by making the religion too complicated by rules.

So lets see, where do we begin.

So we are all sinners and forget about the Cross for forgiveness of sin because it was meaningless. Okay:(

So the word of God that states God wants everyone to go to heaven, is just what plain wrong??:eek:

Irresistible grace. God gave us no free will!:eek:

Now my favorite, sin all you want, you can’t fall from the grace of God! Your IN!!

No wonder they dislike us. I must say their way is much more fun!

The poor Blessed Mother and Jesus I guess they were sinners also.

As my Aunt used to say! GOODNESS GRACIOUS HONEY!:eek:

Well in fairness the cross wasn’t useless. It was necessary for the elect to get forgiveness.

But the logical trail you followed there is exactly how we ended up with many of today’s mainline churches, almost all of which have a strong Calvinist background. Although they don’t phrase it as such, since salvation is predetermined it doesn’t matter what you do. Might as well live in the World.

My very good friend and his family are Primitive Baptists, and his family is among the most sincere and kind non-Catholic Christians I’ve met. They’re a very interesting and unique denomination that varies considerably from regular Baptists. Their beliefs are very close to that of Calvin, but they refuse to acknowledge any influence by him. The “Primitive” in their name refers to their belief that they are the original Christians, and that only they practice Christianity as it was during the first generation of Apostles. They try to mimic the church as it was in it’s most “primitive” era. they also believe that it was the Catholic and Orthodox Churches that diverged from them. As such, they will tell you that they are not Protestants, since they were never part of the Catholic Church. Calvin simply rediscovered much of what original Christianity had believed all along. (It’s “Trail of Blood” stuff, but with considerably less hostility and rhetoric in my experience.)

As an aside, some of their other beliefs which make them unusual (especially for a sect of Baptists) is their strong reverence for the Eucharist and the belief that they must use real unleavened wheat bread and genuine wine. They also practice footwashing, and place nearly as much importance on that as Communion. They also do not believe that belief in Jesus is necessary for salvation (although it is the cause of it), since God predestined people from all over the world for salvation, and many would never be exposed to Christianity (a bit like Catholic “invincible ignorance”) Despite our historical differences, they have always been extremely respectful of my Catholic beliefs. (This may be because Catholics and Primitive Baptists allied with each other to fight prohibition in the 1930s at a time when being a Protestant denomination that condoned the use of alcohol was not very popular. The relationship has seemed to remain cordial.)

Actually, the reason the mainline churches are in the state they are in today is because they bought into “Universal Salvation” and relativism.

Those two beliefs are actually opposed to Calvinism, and many conservative Calvinists would actually say that the mainline churches have faltered because they no longer adhere to the Calvinist confessions.

Belief in predestination historically inspired people to live the best lives they could and constantly search for “clues” that they were of the elect, such as conversion experiences and even financial success.

I’m a Calvinist/Reformed. Growing numbers of evangelicals are.

I am Reformed/Calvinist. The White Horse inn radio show is the prominent outlet.

True Calvinists believe in infant baptism. “Sovereign grace” Baptists might agree with TULIP but they are not really Reformed. The C of E has a Reformed confession (Thirty Nine Articles) and Reformed liturgy (Book of Common Prayer).

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