Basics of Reformed Theology
Cynthia L. Rigby, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Ever wonder what it means, really, to be part of the “Reformed Christian tradition”? In this webinar, we will spend a few minutes reflecting on where Reformed theology came from, historically. The bulk of the hour will be spent exploring central theological emphases of the Reformed tradition, including: the sovereignty of God, the goodness of creation, the problem of sin, the centrality of Christ, the tenacity of grace, the livingness of the Word, the inextricable joining of Word and sacrament, and the Holy Spirit’s work in and through the community of faith. Special attention will be given to some of the most difficult and controversial Reformed teachings, including election, predestination, and total depravity.
Throughout the session, we will ask the pressing question: So what? What are the basics of Reformed theology and why do they matter to ourselves and this world?
Some questions we will consider:
(1) How does the Reformed understanding of the divine sovereignty relativize destructive worldly powers, extinguishing our fear?
(2) How can we say “everything is providential” without thinking of God as a puppet master?
(3) Didn’t Calvin think poorly about human beings? What did he mean when he called sin an “aberration”?
(4) Ephesians says that we are saved “by grace through faith.” How does the Reformed tradition understand this, practically speaking?
(5) Presbyterians are not biblical literalists. What do we mean, then, when we say, “the Bible is the Word of God”?
(6) Why does the Reformed tradition insist that going to church is important? What should be the church’s role in the life of an individual? In the life of the world?