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re: help me understand[edit]

Calvinism teaches that God predestines people to heaven, and allows the rest to suffer the consequences of their sin. This is not the same as what you're describing, that is called double-predestination, which is a subclass of Calvinist thought (and the minority).

God brings about repentance in the elect by changing their will in such a way that they will turn to him, which no one would do otherwise. So those who are not predestined to heaven would never pray and ask for repentance because without God's changing of their will they would never desire that. So if someone prays and asks for forgiveness it means that their wills have been changed.

Also, your professor's caricature of TULIP is really inaccurate. Here is a bit more accurate presentation than the slanted view your professor gave you (it's really despicable that professors do this. I could give you a slanted picture of Arminian theology that makes it look bad too... but I'm not going to be deceptive about things).

T - Total Depravity, might be better understood as Total Inability. It means that there is no part of us that is not affected by the fall, and because of that none of us have the ability or desire to turn to God.
U - Unconditional Election means that God's choice of us as the Elect has nothing to do with anything we do, it is a choice of God that is free from conditioning by us.
L - Limited Atonement basically means that Jesus' death, although sufficient for all, is only effectual for the elect. This isn't really any different than the Arminian stance, which says that it is only effectual for the elect but just defines how the elect become the elect in a different way. If you believe that Jesus' death DID anything concrete rather than just purchasing the potential for something, then you believe in Limited Atonement
I - Irresistible Grace is better understood as Effectual Call, which basically means that God accomplishes that which he sets out to do. We always choose exactly what we desire... and never that which we do not desire. Those who are elect have had their wills changed in such that they desire to seek God, those who are left in their sins do that which they desire... namely rebel against God in favor of their own selfish desires.
P - Perseverance of the Saints means that God's grace is enough to change a person such that they will persist.

Your professor is presenting an inaccurate picture, which is a common underhanded tactic by Arminians who either don't know how to combat the doctrine... or don't care enough to present it accurately. If you're looking for a good resource you could check out "Why I'm not an Arminian" or "For Calvinism." Both are good, and inexpensive, resources for understanding what Calvinism actually teaches. They also have compainions that explain and defend the Arminian side (primarily by engaging in the same kind of inaccurate presentation that your professor did) called "Why I'm not a Calvinist" or "Against Calvinism" respectively.

ReformedArsenal (talk) 15:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

help me understand[edit]

Please help me understand something. Regarding I right in stating that Calvinism believes that God has predestined certain people to Heaven and others to Hell? If so...does that mean if a person prays and ask for repentance in asking forgiveness of their sins, it doesn't matter because he/she is already predestined to Heaven or Hell? How can one know if they are one of the chosen ones predestined to Heaven? thank you CLysek1 (talk) 18:46, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

That doctrine is called "double predestination" -- see Predestination (Calvinism).

One of my theology professors summarized TULIP as
T = we're scum.
U = God chooses which scum goes to heaven and which to hell.
L = Jesus died only for the heaven-bound scum.
I = God doesn't give the heaven-bound scum a choice in the matter. (Which makes God sound like the Borg: Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.)
P = nor does He allow its scumminess to interfere with the process.
Jhobson1 (talk) 13:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like your professor has a chip on their shoulder about Calvinism. When people characterize Calvinism in this way, they are actually describing Hyper-Calvinism. – Confession0791 talk 03:26, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
The Borg are Gene Roddenberry's dig at Christianity (hence his idealised Humans being a socialism militarise atheist society, whilst the borg are pasty-faced collectivist zombies). On the subject of what your professor said, he is generally correct (if rather childish in his phrasing), although in Calvinism Jesus died for all...but God only chooses to save a few of such. Calvinism is, essentially, the most scientifically and rationally sound form of Christianity; in that it recognises, with one or two quibbles, a universe of cause and effect, determinism, which is the foundation of a universe that can be understood through science and reason - where as the others rely on a supernatural thing ("free will") LeapUK (talk) 18:31, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Displayed image of the Good Shepherd - a graven image?[edit]

Would not the display of such an Ikon be at odds with the Calvinist prescription against the display of graven images and therefore inimical to the subject which it is being used to illustrate? If so it portrays a misleading impression of the article's subject matter.


"In this view, elements of Calvinism represented a revolt against the medieval condemnation of usury and, implicitly, of profit in general[citation needed]. Such a connection was advanced in influential works by R. H. Tawney (1880–1962) and by Max Weber (1864–1920)."

This is wrong when it comes to Weber. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism does not mention usury when it comes to Calvinism at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GeneCallahan (talkcontribs) 22:56, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Huldrych Zwingli[edit]

Huldrych Zwingli and Ulrich Zwingli seem to be the same person, shouldn't his name be spelled consistently in the article? ZARguy (talk) 14:55, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree, and I would argue that it should be Huldrych, not because I have any knowledge of how he spelled his name, but because that is the spelling of the wikipedia article about him. Sterrettc (talk) 00:12, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! ZARguy (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:48, 24 October 2011 (UTC).

The Reformed Tradition is more than just Calvinism, even in the sixteenth century.[edit]

I am concerned that Wikipedia redirects the entire discussion to Calvinism. I am a committed Calvinist myself, but the Reformed theological tradition predates Calvin (certainly in Zwingli and Bucer, and some might argue in Augustine!), and runs in multiple streams, even in Calvin's own day. Is there a possibility of splitting these articles? I just feel this is misleading and unscholarly.

Robert Johnson (talk) 02:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

There is a slight possibility of having Reformed tradition as a separate article, but it would take a lot of work. The article does already mention quite a few other names (like Bucer and Zwingli) in its second sentence, so I wouldn't say it is misleading. StAnselm (talk) 03:05, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

This has already been settled in convenient form by the Synod of Dortrecht, who "adopted the rule that every doctrine should be decided by the sole authority of the Word of God, leaving out all human philosophies and opinions on both sides." In this they may have been, in a sense, adopting the rule of the Albigensian Crusade, "Kill 'em all, and let God decide."

There may be some lack of clarity over whether God will decide, has already decided, or has really, for real, I'm not kidding decided (the "Double Decided Doctrine).

Whichever of the three it is, surely it is clear that lumping it all together so that God can point out the true parts (Matt. 13-9) is the right way to go.

David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 14:09, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

I have to agree that from a scholarly point of view, redirecting the whole (Reformed) to a subset (Calvinism) suggests a lack of familiarity with the history and chronology. Zwingli is the founder of the Reformed Church, and while Calvin was certainly its most well-known theologian today, he was definitely second generation. The Canons of Dort, which addressed distinctions with the theology of Jacob Arminius, were written long after Calvin's death and are not part of the confessional subscription of millions in the Reformed Church, e.g. French Reformed, Hungarian Reformed, etc. Lumping the much broader history of the Reformed Church under the subset of Calvinism just seems a little ignorant. And yes, I have formally subscribed to the Canons of Dort, so this isn't a knock on "Calvinism". I'm just saying we ought to get this right, and not simply adopt a popular, albeit wrong, assumption. Waynenoogen (talk) 20:12, 10 May 2016 (UTC)WaynenoogenWaynenoogen (talk) 20:12, 10 May 2016 (UTC) May 10, 2016


I reworked the "comparison among Protestants" table to flow better and be more readable, but I can't seem to adjust the size to 85% width. Also, should it be converted to a template, since it is on multiple pages? If so, I'm not sure how to do that properly. – Confession0791 talk 03:29, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the template is an excellent idea, and I have gone ahead and created it. (From this page - I assume they are all the same.) I don't know about adjusting the width, though. StAnselm (talk) 04:17, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Does neo-orthodoxy belong?[edit]

The neo-orthodoxy page does not state that neo-orthodoxy is a strain of Calvinism, and it would be a contentious claim to say it did. The Calvinism article does not seem to allow that Mainline theology can be included at all, and yet the section on neo-orthodoxy references "Mainline Reformed churches." JFHutson (talk) 18:47, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Many people who self-identify as Reformed also self-identify as neo-orthodox. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Calvinism/FAQ. StAnselm (talk) 20:39, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm OK with some neo-orthodox folks being called Calvinists (on WP anyway), including Barth, but I'm not sure even Barth would call neo-orthodoxy a variant of Calvinism. Definitely not an expert on neo-orthodoxy, but the FAQ you point to says some of the neo-orthodox are properly Calvinists, and the neo-orthodoxy article does not describe it as within Calvinism or building off of Calvinism any more than any other theologies. See Neo-orthodoxy#Relation_to_other_theologies. JFHutson (talk) 21:00, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and remove this section. If you think neo-orthodoxy belongs as a variant of Calvinism, you should edit that page as well to make that clear. Basically I'm agreeing with the discussion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Calvinism/FAQ, but the fact that some of the neo-orthodox are Calvinist doesn't mean that the neo-orthodox would say neo-orthodoxy is a Calvinist movement or variant or even off-shoot of Calvinism. JFHutson (talk) 15:27, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, fair enough. I support its removal. StAnselm (talk) 19:41, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Neo-Calvinism as definition of Calvinism?[edit]

The first sentence of this article describes Calvinism as "an alternative approach to the Christian life" and cites a lecture by Kuyper. As the article makes clear, Kuyper's neo-Calvinism is a strain within Calvinism, and I don't think "alternative approach to the Christian life" describes what most people mean by Calvinism or the Reformed faith.JFHutson (talk) 19:28, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, we probably need something from a new, objective source. I'm keen to have something like this in the lead, since many authorities would say being a Calvinist affects every area of one's life and thought. I think the lead could be improved, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything better. StAnselm (talk) 20:36, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I think you'll find that anyone having that emphasis ("being a Calvinist affects every area of one's life and thought") is going to be a neo-Calvinist. I mean, it's obviously true in a sense, but when I read that I think Kuyperian. I think if this were a proper emphasis of Calvinism as a whole, then you would see it somewhere in the rest of the article besides the neo-Calvinism part. JFHutson (talk) 21:54, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, a lot has been written on the Puritans' life and thought - I dare say those are things Neo-Puritans might emphasise as well. StAnselm (talk) 21:59, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
You're right, but once again Puritans represent a strain within Calvinism, and you've pointed out an emphasis that distinguishes them from other Calvinists. We're trying to describe Calvinism as a whole, and this is not something that unites Calvinists in distinction from other Protestants. JFHutson (talk) 03:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, I would say that at the heart of Calvinism is a view of the Sovereignty of God. This leads to the doctrine of election, of course, but it also leads to the doctrine of Scripture, and that is one that affirms the Word of God as authoritative in every part of life. StAnselm (talk) 04:25, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
How 'bout "form of Christian practice?" JFHutson (talk) 06:03, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
This also leads to a doctrine of providence, and the belief that God uses means (namely us), which also should affect the way someone lives their lives. ReformedArsenal (talk) 12:17, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
No one is arguing over whether Calvinism has ethical aspects. The current lead uses the words "alternative approach to the Christian life." Every form of Christianity I can think of has ethical aspects, but that phrase along with "affects every area of one's life and thought" brings to mind neo-Calvinism, which has it's own page. I propose "form of Christian practice" which is much more neutral and less laden with Kuyperian connotations. JFHutson (talk) 15:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm still mulling the lead over in my head. I think "type of Protestant theological system" doesn't describe Calvinism very well either. Lutheranism calls itself a "major branch of Western Christianity," which I like the sound of, and based on the graphic found at Western Christianity#Western denominations it definitely works. Thoughts? JFHutson (talk) 20:47, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Merge Reformed churches here[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
not merge--JFH (talk) 21:49, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't quite understand the purpose of Reformed churches. It seems that this article may have been started to be about the continental Reformed (continental reformed churches redirects there) as opposed to Presbyterians, but that's not what it is now, and IMHO the way the article is specified is identical to Calvinism. JFHutson (talk) 02:29, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Keep Reformed churches as a general article about churches in the continental reformed tradition. There are subtle but important differences with Presbyterian churches. StAnselm (talk) 03:00, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep I agree. There are many things about the Reformed church that are not necessarily identical with Calvinism proper. ReformedArsenal (talk) 13:04, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

OK, it makes sense to me to have a separate article on the continental Reformed, I just didn't see Reformed churches as currently serving that purpose. I've made changes to it to make it more clear that that's what it is and hopefully folks will add material to make the distinction clear. JFHutson (talk) 15:58, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

20th Century Influences[edit]

Opening discussion on the information added by Speahlman.

Here were the people listed

I think that Kuyper, Barth, and Brunner are probably significant enough and common knowledge enough by reasonably well read people in the field to not need a specific source. Seeing that I have never heard of Ragaz, Kutter, and Thurneysen, I think they will require a source. Thoughts? ReformedArsenal (talk) 20:57, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

But who's missing? Francis Schaeffer? Louis Berkhof? J. I. Packer? R. C. Sproul? Cornelius Van Til? John Murray? Rousas Rushdoony? It seemed like a fairly arbitrary list. Anyway, we have a clear list to choose from at Category:20th-century Calvinist theologians. StAnselm (talk) 21:05, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
The Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith lists the three most influential works as being those by Barth, Brunner and Otto Weber, the last of whom does not even have a Wikipedia article. (I guess Eduard Thurneysen needs a page as well.) StAnselm (talk) 01:51, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, I have started Otto Weber (theologian). StAnselm (talk) 02:01, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I would go with you on all of those except Moltmann. ReformedArsenal (talk) 10:17, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, but we should probably prune. Maybe have seven to go with the seven Reformation-era ones listed? StAnselm (talk) 19:15, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
We need to have at least one of the Old Princeton guys on there... Warfield or Hodge for sure. ReformedArsenal (talk) 19:42, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't consider them because it was restricted to the 20th century. But Warfield definitely qualifies... StAnselm (talk) 19:49, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, so what about Kuyper, Bavinck, Warfield, Barth, Van Til, Packer and Sproul? StAnselm (talk) 19:55, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
That's a good list. What about Michael Horton and David F. Wells ReformedArsenal (talk) 21:34, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, maybe we should split the list: 20th-century - Kuyper, Bavinck, Warfield, Barth, Van Til; current - Packer, Sproul, Carson, Wells, Horton. 21:46, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
That could work, but I'd rather keep it as "Modern" and include all of them. I'd say Wells is more important than Carson, same with Horton. I'd go with Packer, Sproul, wells, and Horton. ReformedArsenal (talk) 22:27, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Christian Reconstructionism does not deserve a section[edit]

Christian Reconstructionism states it is "relatively insignificant in terms of the number of self-described adherents," and I think that's an understatement nowadays. In the context of Calvinism, a global religious tradition with at least 80 million adherents (based on the WCRC stat in this article), I don't see how it merits mention. I tried to delete it awhile ago and was told that it is notable. It is certainly a notable movement, but not every notable movement in such a large and diverse religious tradition is going to be mentioned, let alone have a section, in the main article. --JFH (talk) 20:46, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I think it should be kept. Looking at all the variants listed, none of them would necessarily have more self-described adherents than Reconstructionism. StAnselm (talk) 21:14, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I find that really hard to believe. Hyper-Cal and Amyraldianism would be better handled in the theology section, but they are important theological issues for Calvinists. There are several very prominent New Calvinists named in that section. If the New Calvinism = Piper, Keller, and the Gospel Coalition then it's much larger than CR. Neo-Cal is more important historically, but some would argue it is the dominant ideology of Calvinism today. There are several notable folks mentioned at the Neo-Cal page, some of whom are alive. It would be better to work both of these into the history section, but I think it's fine for now. Christian Reconstructionism was a flash in the pan, with no prominent promoters today. Rushdoony is the only notable person mentioned at the CR page. --JFH (talk) 22:08, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I recently downloaded D.G. Hart's brand new Calvinism: A History, and was unsurprised to find no mention of theonomy, CR, or any person associated with those. Neo-Calvinism got a whole section and Amyrauldianism is discussed in several places. New Calvinism isn't discussed, and I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to removing it as well, but I think it's evident that in today's landscape these figures are much more prominent than those of CR. --JFH (talk) 03:08, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
It isn't just today's landscape that we have to deal with. I wouldn't be opposed to a very brief note about the basic contuors and a link to Christian Reconstructionism. ReformedArsenal (talk) 13:22, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Which is why I mentioned its complete absence from the historical literature. If Hart found no reason to mention it in a > 300 page survey, what is the basis for saying it is historically important enough for this article? New Calvinism is more understandable because of its contemporary importance. --JFH (talk) 13:33, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
There are any number of reasons that it could be absent in Hart's work that aren't related to its significance. Do we have a statement by him saying that that is why he left it out? If not, is making that assumption not WP:OR? What do other historical works regarding Calvinism say? How do they treat (or not treat) the subject? ReformedArsenal (talk) 16:32, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Hart's new book (which I'm really enjoying) is the only survey of the history of Calvinism which goes through the 70s. The History and Character of Calvinism was written in 1967. Christ's Churches Purely Reformed only covers through the seventeenth century. The Historical Dictionary of the Reformed Churches does not mention CR, theonomy, or any associated writer I could think of. Really though, the BURDEN is on someone arguing to include it to show that it is considered important to Calvinism as a whole simply by including a citation to some reliable source on Calvinism as a whole. So no, I am not doing OR, I am saying it is OR to include significant space to a sub-topic when no RS has done so. --JFH (talk) 00:35, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
WP:BURDEN doesn't apply here, because the information is sourced. If you're talking about burden of proof broadly, then no, burden of proof would rest on the person proposing a change to prove that the change is necessary. If I was proposing that we ADD a section that didn't exist, I would have burden, but it is already there so the burden is on the person who is suggesting removal (you). ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:04, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Well I've done my best to prove the negative anyway. The only information we have right now on the importance of this movement has to do with right wing politics in the US. UNDUE and FRINGE applies here as well since this movement represents a fringe interpretation of Reformed theology. --JFH (talk) 21:42, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Calvin and the Canons of Dort[edit]

It is important to remember that the Canons of Dort were written around 50 years after the death of John Calvin. The Canon of Dort may not represent John Calvin's true theology. Charles Finney, (my own opinion), believed that the Scriptures used by the Canon of Dort, (or Synod of Dort), in trying to prove their points, in fact, do not prove the points at all. From my perspective a person that believes in the Canon of Dort, and TULIP, are Hyper-Calvinists.Easeltine (talk) 14:00, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

That's why we use WP:RS instead of personal opinion... the VAST majority of Theologians (Reformed and non-reformed) would disagree with you about that point. The difference between hyper-calvinist and calvininst proper is not TULIP, it is the Free Offer of Grace and Faith Duty. ReformedArsenal (talk) 19:18, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Pew report[edit]

Why would the recently removed report of the Pew foundation be "unreliable"? --JFH (talk) 15:59, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

False dichotomies between other Protestantism vs. just explaining basics?[edit]

I reworked the paragraph in "Sovereign Grace" to illuminate a little better on what are and aren't distinctions between Calvinism and other Protestant views such as Lutheranism, Molinism, and Classical Arminianism. It seemed that a distinction was being made that Calvinism is the only system which thinks God doesn't save people on the basis of "faith, or any other virtue," or words to that extent. I left the questionable phrase intact, but in the paragraph below clarified that neither Lutherans, Molinists, nor Classical Arminians would find that to be a "distinctive" of Calvinism, since they all agree faith is not meritorious. I provided fairly extensive footnotes and references. If you disagree with any of my phraseology, please modify it slightly or provide your input here so we can discuss it. Please also check my sources in the event you simply disagree with what I am saying, or find it 'paradoxical' theology and therefore wrong.  : ) Thanks! Mjc-research (talk) 01:00, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Polity Bifurcation[edit]

  • "Calvinists can be divided into two distinct traditions distinguished by ecclesiastical polity: Presbyterianism and Congregational churches."

In terms of polity, in terms of decisionmaking, isn't Presbyterianism (elected representation, where denominations have a 'federal model') merely a modified form of Congregationalism, since decisionmaking authority within a Presbyterian-type denomination flows representationally upward from the believers in congregations to denominational of other levels? MaynardClark (talk) 14:23, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Maybe conceptually, but historically presbyterianism came first. Congregationalism came out of Puritanism later on. Presbyterian churches have various degrees of top-down vs. bottom-up styles. In America, you're right that's it's always been very grassroots, but that's somewhat of an anomaly. --JFH (talk) 18:17, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Calvinism ≠ Reformed[edit]

I want to start a discussion here that I believe is important distinction. Reformed theology consists of the three "C's".

Calvinism is but one aspect of Reformed theology. Now we have many Christians (such as John MacArthur) who hold to the five points of Calvinism, but are otherwise dispensationalist and do not hold to the WCF nor the 1689 BCF. And since Dispensationalism and Covenant theology are diametrically opposed to one another, I think it's safe to say that dispensational, non-confessional Calvinism does not qualify as Reformed Christianity. The Reformed tradition is much more than just Calvinism alone, and should have its own page. — Confession0791 talk 17:14, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

That is how I tend to use the words, but other people differ in their terminology. This issue was discussed several years ago here - see Wikipedia:WikiProject Calvinism/FAQ. StAnselm (talk) 20:41, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Requested move 5 December 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not Moved Mike Cline (talk) 16:42, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

– This religious tradition is usually called the "Reformed tradition", "Reformed faith", or "Reformed Protestantism" in reliable sources. Most sources on the tradition and its theology use the term Reformed tradition or Reformed theology in their titles. Here is a short list of overviews.

  • Allen, R. Michael (2010). Reformed Theology. Doing Theology. New York: T&T Clark. 
  • Alston, Wallace M. Jr.; Welker, Michael, eds. (2003). Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. 
  • Leith, John H. (1980). An Introduction to the Reformed Tradition. Louisville, KY,: Westminster John Knox. 
  • McKim, Donald K. (2001). Introducing the Reformed Faith. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox. 
  • Sproul, R. C. (2005). What is Reformed Theology?. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 

All but one of these are directed to non-specialist audiences. This demonstrates that "Reformed" is recognizable to nonspecialists and satisfies WP:NC on recognizability.

I realize that most of these use "Reformed theology". I don't think that this is the appropriate term for the article because it is about the entire religious tradition. "Reformed tradition" includes the theology as well as practices and history.

A search of Google books for "Reformed tradition", "Reformed dogmatics", "Reformed worship", "Reformed theology", "Reformed confessions", etc. will show many more reliable sources than the equivalents with "Calvinist". reformed tradition returns more results than calvinism, and many of the results for "calvinism" do not appear to be reliable sources on the subject of the page.

Books on "Calvinism" are usually about predestination, which is not the subject of this page. This is a WP:PRECISION issue. Calvinism is often used to mean something more specific than the wider Reformed tradition.

Admittedly, the three most reliable books on the history of the tradition have included the word "Calvinism" in their titles (though Benedict's Christ Churches Purely Reformed: A Social History of Calvinism at least used "Reformed" in the main title). The two most recent of these books have statements from their authors indicating that Reformed is the preferred term, but they used "Calvinism" in their titles for identifiability to a wider audience. They then proceed to use "Reformed" throughout the book. Despite these statements, I believe, based on the above book titles and many other nonspecialist sources, that "Reformed tradition" satisfies WP:NC, which states that the title only needs to be recognizable to someone familiar with the subject. One does not need to be an expert on this subject to know what Reformed means, even if Calvinism is more a familiar word in a wide context.

The third history, The History and Character of Calvinism written by John T. McNeill in 1954, uses Calvinist to distinguish from Zwinglianism, and Reformed to encompass both. That doesn't jive with the other (more recent and reliable) sources because they include Zwinglianism in their histories of "Calvinism" (which they would prefer to call the Reformed tradition).

Here are some more quotes from reliable sources on the subject.

To summarize:

  1. "Calvinism" is problematic for WP:PRECISION reasons.
  2. "Calvinism" is inaccurate because the Reformed tradition does not look to Calvin as a founder.
  3. "Reformed" is recognizable to those familiar with the subject, but not necessarily expert.
  4. "Reformed" is a common descriptor in reliable sources, including nonspecialist ones.
  5. "Reformed tradition" designates the entire religious tradition, including its theology, worship, and history.

I am not including Portal:Calvinism or WP:WikiProject Calvinism at this point because I do not want technical issues of moving these to hold up the article space move. JFH (talk) 19:28, 5 December 2015 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Strong oppose This is not the Christian Wikipedia. there are other reformed traditions in the world outside of Protestantism. You will need to add disambiguators to avoid WP:BIAS favouring Christianity over all other religions. -- (talk) 05:23, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
If the primary meaning of "Reformed tradition" in reliable sources is Calvinism, that's all that matters. Srnec (talk) 23:39, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Reformed Christianity per nom &'s reasonable point. Admittedly this might require a hatnote change since plenty of non-reformed Christian denominations are still "reformed" in the sense of being descendants of the Protestant Reformation, but oh well. SnowFire (talk) 08:26, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This is a well-thought out proposal, but it is precisely on the evidence provided that I oppose it. While the theology is perhaps more often called "Reformed theology", this article is indeed about a wider tradition which is called "Calvinism" more than "the Reformed tradition". I'm not convinced that there is a problem with the current title. StAnselm (talk) 13:49, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Could you elucidate what you mean by a wider tradition called Calvinism and point me to a reliable source?--JFH (talk) 14:27, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I was simply intending to echo your own words about the article being about more than theology, but "about the entire religious tradition". StAnselm (talk) 23:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I see I misunderstood. I think it's actually much more common for Calvinism to refer to theology (but usually particular views on predestination) than anything else. You'll find lots of books on Reformed worship, Reformed spirituality, and Reformed churches, but few on the Calvinist equivalents. One of the books listed above is about the "Reformed faith" and another about the "Reformed tradition".--JFH (talk) 02:22, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not having an article titled "Calvinism" is ridiculous. Srnec (talk) 23:39, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Calvinism is certainly the common name in everyday usage as opposed to specialist usage. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

obvious bias[edit]

Some sources would view Calvinist influence as not always being solely positive.

This says clearly that anti-slavery, women's rights, prison reform and the red cross are prositive things. An opinion that is not shared by all humans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Well, Gerd, Wiki is not here to promote slavery, or destroy the Red Cross, etc., etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia is her to be neutral and this section says that these things are positive, with is an opinion not a fact.