Portrait of John Calvin

There is no such thing as ‘a five-point Calvinist’

THE Reformed faith includes reference to total inability, unconditional election, the limited efficiency of Christ’s satisfaction, irresistible grace and the perseverance of the saints not as the sum total of the church’s confession, but as elements that can be understood only in the context of a larger body of teaching that includes the baptism of infants, justification by grace alone through faith, the necessity of a thankful obedience consequent upon our faith and justification, the identification of the sacraments as a means of grace, and the so-called amillennial view of the end of the world. The larger number of points, including but going beyond the five of the Canons of Dort, is intended, in other words, to construe theologically the entire life of the believing community. And when that larger number of points taught by the Reformed confessions is not respected, the famous five are jeopardised, indeed, dissolved — and the ongoing spiritual health of the church is placed at risk. Read the full article by Dr Richard Muller here.