Are You Reformed?

(Part 1)

By Richard Lucas–

Perhaps the question has been posed to you at one time or another.  The appropriate answer it seems depends almost as much on the questioner as the one replying.  For those in the emerging “Young, Restless, and Reformed” category, they might not realize that not everyone else understands the self-describing moniker of “Reformed” in quite the same way.

I have two goals for these blog posts: 1) to sketch out something of the landscape of those who consider themselves “Reformed”; and 2) to provide some historical perspective to the development of the T.U.L.I.P. acronym  in an effort to perhaps curb some misplaced enthusiasm.

Map of the Reformed Landscape

Here I’m merely surveying from my limited experience those who I’ve run into in the modern American Evangelical landscape.  I also will focus on those groups most likely to interest readers of this blog, which is “self-consciously Evangelical, Reformational, and Baptistic.”  My sympathies will become apparent as I don’t withhold my own biases along the way.

The survey really falls into more of a spectrum than separate categories, because there is quite a bit of overlap between various groups.  Nevertheless I think some differentiation will still prove to be helpful, because these groups are often using the word “Reformed” in different senses (i.e. historically, soteriologically, biblical-theologically, etc.).

1) Theonomists

They believe they are the only ones who are consistently reformed.  To them being reformed is applying their bi-covenantal theology in every area of life, including ethics, in a thoroughly consistent manner.  Continue reading