In this series of posts, we’ll look at some of the terms used to try and capture what we believe and value. Words have meaning, but divorced from context they could be misunderstood. Understanding how words are defined and used is essential, so this week we’ll look at what we mean by: reformed.

To be reformed is to identify yourself with the principles of the Protestant Reformation that took place under individuals like Martin Luther and John Calvin. These men and others like them challenged the Catholic church in their day over a number of essential theological issues. This event in history started the Protestant movement to which groups like the Presbyterians and Baptists trace back their roots. By using the label “reformed,” we are identifying ourselves to the principles of the Reformation.

There were five Latin slogans that captured the essence of the biblical teaching recovered during the Reformation. They are: Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone); Sola Fide (Faith Alone); Solus Christus (Christ Alone); Sola Gratia (Grace Alone); Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone).

It’s important to note that to be reformed is not to say that we follow a system outside of Scripture. Another slogan during the Reformation was ad fontes (to the source!). This meant the Reformers were interested in returning to biblical Christianity and biblical Christianity alone. All traditions and practices must be measured and weighed by the sure authority of the Scriptures. To be reformed is to subscribe to the same doctrines that Paul, the other apostles, and Jesus himself ascribed to.

Click the “Distinctives” category below for more posts in this series.