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Christian Theology: 4 Ways Calvinism Differs From Lutheranism

By    |   Monday, 25 Jan 2016 05:29 PM

Theology is a complex and nuanced subject. For many Christians, it is also a subject of much debate, which often leads to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of other Christian interpretations of God's word. Such is the case when Christians talk about how Calvinism differs from Lutheranism on matters of theology.

Calvinism and Lutheranism Defined

Calvinists follow the teachings of the French theologian John Calvin.

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Calvinism is sometimes referred to as Reformed theology, which is considered to be a movement that occurred in Orthodox Protestantism.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defines Calvinism as being a theology that conforms to the highest scriptural view. It uses that knowledge and information to create the theological formulations on how the faith is practiced based strictly on the Word of God.

Lutheranism primarily focuses on the sovereignty of God and belief that He has the ability to do whatever He wants with His creation.

It is a Lutheran belief that the Bible teaches that God predestines the salvation of people; the death of Jesus Christ was only for those predestined people. God then equips the predestined people with the ability and desire to choose God. For those chosen people who are redeemed, salvation cannot be lost.

Those who practice Lutheranism adhere to the teachings of Martin Luther, a German monk and the father of the Protestant reformation. According to the Lutheran World Federation, there are approximately 8.4 million Lutherans in the United States alone.

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The LWF describes the Lutheran identity to be “evangelical, sacramental, diaconal, confessional, and ecumenical” and each characteristic of being a Lutheran is spelled out explicitly as to what behaviors fall within each category.

When taking the basis for the beliefs and doctrines of both denominations into consideration, there are some obvious differences between the two. In a nutshell, here are four of the chief differences between these two Christian religions.

1. Calvinism is based on the belief that individuals do not have a choice in who obtains salvation because it is predestined. No one has the ability to change that. Lutheranism is founded on the belief that salvation has nothing to do with predestination but is acquired instead by faith.

2. Calvinism teaches that salvation is not possible for all people, but only for a chosen few. Lutheranism teaches that salvation is attainable for anyone.

3. Calvinism emphasizes that God has absolute sovereignty over each person, while Lutheranism is based on the belief that the individual does have power over what happens in certain areas of life. Calvinism, unlike Lutheranism, did not ascribe to the idea that the state should have secular authority over the church.

4. Lutheranism stresses that Christ is present in spiritual form whereas Calvinists believe that the holiness of the body and blood of Christ is present in sacred bread and wine.

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Theology is a complex and nuanced subject. For many Christians, it is also a subject of much debate, which often leads to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of other Christian interpretations of God's word. Such is the case when Christians talk about how Calvinism differs from Lutheranism.
christian, theology, calvinism, lutheranism, differs
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2016-29-25
Monday, 25 Jan 2016 05:29 PM
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