December 2, 2008

What is Reformed Theology?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been spending a lot of time with my in-laws.  My wife comes from, on her dad's side, a family that follows very much in the Anabaptist tradition.  Beth's dad and all of that side of the family belong the Church of the Brethren.  My mother-in-law was raised as a Baptist and continues to be such, thus my wife grew up with the influence of both of these traditions.

As I have already said, I spent a lot of time with my in-laws and my wife's extended family over the last couple of weeks.  During that time I was asked by one of Beth's aunts (who is a Brethren 'pastor') and her mom, "What is Reformed theology?"  When I told them that it was what most people called 'Calvinism,' they both responded with the same question: 'Aren't those the people that are big on "predestination"?'.  Unfortunately in neither case was I allowed to explain what it really was.

So, I guess my whole point with this is this:  is that what people really think of us who call ourselves Calvinists?  Are we just the people that are big on predestination?

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