Most modern day Christian theology stems from a few reformation movements that separated themselves from either the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England. Such is the case with a number of denominations that follow the beliefs of Calvinism.
John Calvin (1509-1564), a French theologian, fostered the concepts that led to the formation of the Christian theology that bears his name.
Calvinism, as stated by John Calvin, originates from the belief that "God preordained ... a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation."
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As mortal beings are unable to comprehend the mind of God, the reasoning behind those elected to salvation and those condemned to eternal damnation is unknown.
Here are five Christian denominations that identify with Calvinist beliefs.
1. Primitive Baptist or Reformed Baptist Churches
As Calvinistic beliefs flourished, denominations of like-minded believers began to form. The belief in preordination or predestination became a popular doctrine of English Baptists.
Hyper-Calvinism or High Calvinism are the terms most commonly attached to believers professing adherence to the doctrine of predestination and a number of smaller congregations in the Primitive Baptist and Reformed Baptist conventions still hold to the belief.
2. Presbyterian Churches
Most Presbyterian congregations adhere to the Christian theology derived from Calvin's beliefs. The Presbyterian Church in America affirms
their association with Calvin's principles, stating: "a firm commitment on the doctrinal standards which had been significant in Presbyterianism since 1645. ... These doctrinal standards express the distinctives of the Calvinistic or Reformed tradition."
3. Reformed Churches
The Reformed Church in America is the offspring of the Dutch Reformed Church, brought to North America by early Dutch settlers. The settlers were came here to avoid religious prosecution in the Netherlands once their faith had been co-opted and corrupted by the state, according to the Christian Reformed Church
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The Dutch Reformed Church further splintered in the colonies after differences in worship practices among churches from which the CRC emerged.
The CRC sees its belief in Calvinism as a mark of distinction, stating "What sets the Christian Reformed Church off from many other denominations is its embrace of key teachings of John Calvin."
4. The United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ traces their reformist roots
to Martin Luther and John Calvin with strong influences of the doctrine espoused by both men.
German and Hungarian descendants carried their beliefs under a variety of names until this "distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church" known today as the United Church of Christ.
5. The Protestant Reformed Churches in America
The Protestant Reformed Churches in America organized in 1924 as an offshoot of the Christian Reformed Church in America, this convention resulting from doctrinal differences regarding the interpretation of common grace.
According to the PRCA
, "The Protestant Reformed Churches are Reformed, Calvinistic Churches which maintain the doctrines of grace" expressing their belief in Calvin's expression of "irresistible grace" where the elect inevitably find their true faith and belief in God.
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