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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Calvinism

In 1536 John Calvin published his The Institutes of the Christian Religion, his personal testament of faith written to put a finish to the divisions within the expanding Protestant movement. This introduced Calvin's doctrine of predestination under which God predestines certain souls (the elect) through the sacrifice of Jesus to salvation, and the others whose fate is damnation. He emphazised the utter sinfulness of mankind that cannot be saved unless they are one of the elect, one of the chosen ones to be saved.

Calvin believed there are three tests that constitute a good yardstick by which to judge who is God's chosen, the elect and therefore saved. Firstly participation in baptism and the Lord's Supper, secondly, a public declaration of one's faith and lastly a righteous moral life.

Calvinism was adopted in Scotland, parts of Switzerland, and the Netherlands; by the Puritans in England and New England, USA; and by the subsequent Congregational and Presbyterian churches in the USA.

Although Calvinism is rarely accepted today in its strictest interpretation, the 20th century has seen a neo-Calvinist revival through the work of Karl Barth.

Source Encyclopedia of Trivia © RM 2013. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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