15. Reformed Theology – Conclusion

In spite of its many strong points, Reformed Theology errs in some very crucial areas.  Its extreme Calvinism forces it to have a gospel only for the elect.  Its deadly legalism permeates its entire teaching on the Christian life and sanctification.  Its teaching on regeneration and saving faith takes away from the sinner’s personal, God-given responsibility to believe the gospel.  Its emphasis on Lordship salvation complicates and corrupts the gospel message by requiring the sinner to perform additional acts of surrender and obedience in order to be saved.  This detracts from the simple gospel of the grace of God which Paul preached and defended with his life.

The Reformed theory of “vicarious law-keeping” is a distortion of the doctrine of justification, and the teaching that Christ bore our sins prior to the cross is a serious misunderstanding of what took place on Calvary’s tree.  Putting believers under the law of Moses as a rule of life puts the focus upon Mt. Sinai rather than Mt. Calvary, and incalculable harm is caused whenever the cross is not central in the Christian life.

In addition to these problems, Reformed Theology has abandoned the literal, normal interpretation of the Scriptures when it comes to prophecy in general and the millennial reign of Christ in particular.  Many Reformed men have embraced preterism, a system of prophetic interpretation which has destroyed the prophetic significance of hundreds of passages in the Word of God, thus robbing the Church of its “blessed hope.”  When the Church loses its evangelistic zeal due to extreme Calvinism and when the Church ceases to look for the Lord’s coming due to preterist influences, then a sad spiritual condition will inevitably result.

With an open Bible and with a poor and contrite heart and with an attitude of trembling before the written Word of God, may we continue in those things which are fitting for sound doctrine!

Written by George Zeller at Middletown Bible Church .  Used with permission.