Reformed Theology and Monergism

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Reformed Theology and Monergism

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Feb 23, 2012, 9:51 am

I am new to LibraryThing and new to this group. I would like to learn more about Reformed Theology. My mother came from a Associate Reformed Presbyterian background in Mississippi. I am assuming they are affiliated with the Reformed Theology movement simply, simply by the name "Reformed" in their name. Are R.C. Sproul's writings one of the best places to start? And, is monergism one of the basic tenets/teachings of Reformed Theology?

Feb 23, 2012, 1:43 pm

Hi jmike47 -- welcome to Reformed Theology! Some people start with R.C. Sproul's works as an introduction to to Reformed theology -- personally, I'm not a fan. Given my background (Presbyterian), I find Shirley C. Guthrie's Christian Doctrine or Donald McKim's various introductions to the Reformed tradition to be easier to read and more closely aligned with my tradition. Try out various authors that are tagged here as "Reformed" and find which speaks best to you and your tradition.

To answer your second question, yes, Monergism is one of the basics of Reformed theology, as Reformed/Calvinist traditions teach that we are saved through God's grace alone -- apart from our own works or "decisions."

Happy reading! :)

Feb 24, 2012, 1:36 am

Thanks for the guidance. I have liked what I've heard from R.C. Sproul, as I have watched him on TV before. I attended Army Chaplain Captain Career Course at Fort Jackson, SC (Columbia), last August and had the opportunity to attend First Presbyterian Church (ARP) and meet Sinclair Ferguson. It was a pleasant meeting, but I didn't have time to talk to him about the Associate Reformed Presbyterian tradition. I used Donald McKim's "Theological Turning Points" in college.

Feb 24, 2012, 1:43 am

minnaloushe: Are there major differences between Sproul and Guthrie/McKim? If so, what are they? What are some specifics of your tradition that you can highlight? I am Southern Baptist and also interested in learning more about the Reformed Baptist tradition.

Feb 24, 2012, 8:30 am

I like Sproul, but I haven't read the other authors mentioned so I don't know how he stacks up.

I haven't read this yet either, but The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Lorraine Boettner is considered something of a classic, isn't it?

Feb 24, 2012, 3:44 pm

jmike47: I'm not sure how different Sproul is from Guthrie or McKim in regards to basic tenets of Reformed theology since I haven't read enough of Sproul. I've read some of Sproul's journal articles and listened to him speak a few times -- enough to know that he is indeed speaking from a Reformed tradition, but also that he has a worldview that is quite different from mine.

Guthrie and McKim write from a foundation in the Presbyterian branch of Reformed theology, so their works tend to highlight Reformed characteristics I have found in common the Presbyterian church. Some examples of what I mean: First, less of a stress on Substitutionary models of atonement versus what I would consider a form of the Christus Victor model; Second, a theology of justification based more around the community rather than the individual; Third, more of a Calvinist understanding of the Sacraments versus the Zwingli/Bullinger understanding. The Reformed understanding of Predestination was also a huge stumbling block for me in my personal journey until I read the explanation Guthrie gave in Christian Doctrine.

Hope this helps -- happy reading!

Oct 21, 2012, 10:11 pm

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination is a
Classic and a wonderful book. I also found it very easy to follow along.

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