Orthodox Calvinism Position

Topics: Calvinism, Protestant Reformation, Arminianism Pages: 6 (1984 words) Published: April 20, 2008
Calvinism is the theological system of John Calvin who exerted international influence on the development of the doctrine of the Protestant Reformation (Warfield, 2004). Calvin and his followers marked by strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of mankind, and the doctrine of predestination. This system was developed as a biblical Christianity. It has stirred countries such as Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, England and America. Calvinist theology spread rapidly, and became the basis for many protestant denominations. These included the Swiss Reformed Church, The Dutch Reformed Church, The English Puritans, The French Huguenots, The Presbyterian and Congregational Churches, The Baptist Churches, and through them the Pentecostal Churches and Assemblies of God. Jansenism, a Catholic form of Calvinism, was condemned as heretical in 1653. The central assertion of Calvinism canons is that God is able to save from the tyranny of sin, from guilt and the fear of death, every one of those upon whom he is willing to have mercy. God is not frustrated by the unrighteousness or the inability of men because it is the unrighteous and the helpless that he intends to save. In Calvinism man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that, which is good and well pleasing to God; but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it. This concept of free choice makes Calvinism to stand supreme among all the religious systems of the world. The great men of our country often were members of Calvinist Church. We had the number of Presbyterian presidents, legislators, jurists, authors, editors, teachers and businessmen. The revolutionary principles of republican liberty and self-government, taught and embodied in the system of Calvin were brought to America and in this new land where they have borne so mighty a harvest were planted by the hands of the Calvinists. In this essay we will discuss the role of Calvinism in American History, especially in Jacksonian era. Calvinism came to America with the Pilgrim Fathers. It gained strong adherence in the Presbyterian Church in American colonies, during the 17th and 18th centuries. Presbyterians took a very prominent part in the American Revolution of 1776. By 1800 Calvinist church had roughly split into an orthodox wing and a liberal wing. The liberals had been strongly influenced by enlightenment ideas. The background for political and religious reforms was built. New era of American history had started. The Jacksonian era was a precursor to the greater extension of such philosophies and tactics in the post-Civil War era, as evidenced by the actions and policies of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. After 1815 Americans transformed the republic of the Founding Fathers into a democracy. State after state revoked property qualifications for voting and holding office - thus transforming Jefferson’s republic of property holders into Andrew Jackson’s mass democracy (Halbrooks, 2004). Andrew Jackson was the first President not to come from the original colonies. Jackson was considered a true popular hero and used his stature to strengthen the power of the presidency. In the period of 1815-1845 the national politics was polarized around him and his opposition and two parties grew out of the old Republican Party - the Democratic Republicans, or Democrats, adhering to Jackson; and the National Republicans, or Whigs, opposing him. Jacksonian democracy was a curious blend of individualism and community awareness and aspiration. The model and chief inspiration of this democratic spirit was in fact the revival. In every revival men were held strictly responsible for their own actions. Young democracy was under a pervasive religious influence. Religious culture powerfully shaped political culture. Actually, religion was one of the leading factors behind political parties. Religion likewise injected into the political arena a host of...
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