Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. Calvinists broke from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Calvinists differ from Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, theories of worship, the use of God's law for believers, among other things; as declared in the Westminster and Second Helvetic confessions, the core doctrines are predestination and election. The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the religious tradition which it denotes has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. In the context of the Reformation, Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in 1519 in the city of Zürich, his followers were labeled Zwinglians, consistent with the Catholic practice of naming heresy after its founder. Soon, Zwingli was joined by Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, William Farel, Johannes Oecolampadius and other early Reformed thinkers.
The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, converted to the Reformed tradition from Roman Catholicism only in the late 1520s or early 1530s as it was being developed. The movement was first called referring to John Calvin, by Lutherans who opposed it. Many within the tradition find it either an indescriptive or an inappropriate term and would prefer the word Reformed to be used instead; some Calvinists prefer the term Augustinian-Calvinism since Calvin credited his theology to Augustine of Hippo. The most important Reformed theologians include John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, William Farel, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Karl Barth, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, R. C. Sproul were influential. Contemporary Reformed theologians include J. I. Packer, John MacArthur, Timothy J. Keller, David Wells, Michael Horton. Reformed churches may exercise several forms of ecclesiastical polity.
Calvinism is represented by Continental Reformed and Congregationalist traditions. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 100 million members in 211 member denominations around the world. There are more conservative Reformed federations such as the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches, as well as independent churches. Calvinism is named after John Calvin, it was first used by a Lutheran theologian in 1552. It was a common practice of the Catholic Church to name; the term first came out of Lutheran circles. Calvin denounced the designation himself: They could attach us no greater insult than this word, Calvinism, it is not hard to guess. Despite its negative connotation, this designation became popular in order to distinguish Calvinists from Lutherans and from newer Protestant branches that emerged later; the vast majority of churches that trace their history back to Calvin do not use it themselves, since the designation "Reformed" is more accepted and preferred in the English-speaking world.
Moreover, these churches claim to be—in accordance with John Calvin's own words—"renewed accordingly with the true order of gospel". Since the Arminian controversy, the Reformed tradition—as a branch of Protestantism distinguished from Lutheranism—divided into two separate groups: Arminians and Calvinists. However, it is now rare to call Arminians a part of the Reformed tradition. While the Reformed theological tradition addresses all of the traditional topics of Christian theology, the word Calvinism is sometimes used to refer to particular Calvinist views on soteriology and predestination, which are summarized in part by the Five Points of Calvinism; some have argued that Calvinism as a whole stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things including salvation. First-generation Reformed theologians include Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, John Oecolampadius, Guillaume Farel; these reformers came from diverse academic backgrounds, but distinctions within Reformed theology can be detected in their thought the priority of scripture as a source of authority.
Scripture was viewed as a unified whole, which led to a covenantal theology of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper as visible signs of the covenant of grace. Another Reformed distinctive present in these theologians was their denial of the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord's supper; each of these theologians understood salvation to be by grace alone, affirmed a doctrine of particular election. Martin Luther and his successor Philipp Melanchthon were undoubtedly significant influences on these theologians, to a larger extent Reformed theologians; the doctrine of justification by faith alone was a direct inheritance from Luther. John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, Wolfgang Musculus, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Andreas Hyperius belong to the second generation of Reformed theologians. Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion was one of the most influential theologies of the era. Toward the middle of the 16th
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Arminianism is a branch of Protestantism based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants. His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, but they were distinct from particular teachings of Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, other Protestant Reformers. Jacobus Arminius was a student of Theodore Beza at the Theological University of Geneva. Arminianism is known to some as a soteriological diversification of Protestant Calvinist Christianity. Dutch Arminianism was articulated in the Remonstrance, a theological statement signed by 45 ministers and submitted to the States General of the Netherlands; the Synod of Dort was called by the States General to consider the Five Articles of Remonstrance. These articles asserted; those who signed this remonstrance and others who supported its theology have since been known as Remonstrants."Many Christian denominations have been influenced by Arminian views on the will of man being freed by Grace prior to regeneration, notably the Baptists in the 16th century, the Methodists in the 18th century and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 19th century.
Some falsely assert that Universalists and Unitarians in the 18th and 19th centuries were theologically linked with Arminianism. Denominations such as the Anabaptists and other groups prior to the Reformation have affirmed that each person may choose the contingent response of either resisting God's grace or yielding to it; the original beliefs of Jacobus Arminius himself are defined as Arminianism, but more broadly, the term may embrace the teachings of Hugo Grotius, John Wesley, others as well. Classical Arminianism, to which Arminius is the main contributor, Wesleyan Arminianism, to which John Wesley is the main contributor, are the two main schools of thought. Wesleyan Arminianism is identical with Methodism; some schools of thought, notably semipelagianism—which teaches that the first step of Salvation is by human will—are confused as being Arminian in nature. But classical Arminianism holds that the first step of Salvation is the grace of God; the Council of Orange condemned semi-Pelagian thought, is accepted by some as a document which can be understood as teaching a doctrine between Augustinian thought and semi-Pelagian thought, relegating Arminianism to the orthodoxy of the early Church fathers.
The two systems of Calvinism and Arminianism share both history and many doctrines, the history of Christian theology. Arminianism is related to Calvinism historically. However, because of their differences over the doctrines of divine predestination and election, many people view these schools of thought as opposed to each other; the distinction is whether God allows His desire to save all to be resisted by an individual's will or if God's grace is irresistible and limited to only some. Put another way, is God's sovereignty shown, in part, through His allowance of free decisions? Some Calvinists assert that the Arminian perspective presents a synergistic system of Salvation and therefore is not only by Grace, while Arminians reject this conclusion. Many consider the theological differences to be crucial differences in doctrine, while others find them to be minor. Jacobus Arminius was a Dutch theologian in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, he was taught by Theodore Beza, Calvin's hand-picked successor, but after examination of the scriptures, he rejected his teacher's theology that it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation.
Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, thereby making it conditional on faith. Arminius's views were challenged by the Dutch Calvinists Franciscus Gomarus, but Arminius died before a national synod could occur. Arminius's followers, not wanting to adopt their leader's name, called themselves the Remonstrants; when Arminius died before he could satisfy Holland's State General's request for a 14-page paper outlining his views, the Remonstrants replied in his stead crafting the Five articles of Remonstrance. After some political maneuvering, the Dutch Calvinists were able to convince Prince Maurice of Nassau to deal with the situation. Maurice systematically removed Arminian magistrates from office and called a national synod at Dordrecht; this Synod of Dort was open to Dutch Calvinists with Calvinist representatives from other countries, in 1618 published a condemnation of Arminius an
Synod of Dort
The Synod of Dort was an international Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618–1619, by the Dutch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The first meeting was on 13 November 1618 and the final meeting, the 180th, was on 29 May 1619. Voting representatives from eight foreign Reformed churches were invited. Dort was a contemporary English term for the town of Dordrecht. In 2014 the first entire critical edition of the Acts and Documents of the Synod was published. There had been previous provincial synods of Dort, a National Synod in 1578. For that reason the 1618 meeting is sometimes called the Second Synod of Dort; the acts of the Synod were tied to political intrigues that arose during the Twelve Years' Truce, a pause in the Dutch war with Spain. After the death of Jacob Arminius his followers presented objections to the Belgic Confession and the teaching of John Calvin, Theodore Beza, their followers; these objections were published in a document called The Remonstrance of 1610, the Arminians were therefore known as Remonstrants.
They taught election on the basis of foreseen faith, a universal atonement, resistible grace, the possibility of lapse from grace. The opposing Calvinists or Gomarists, led by Franciscus Gomarus of the University of Leiden, became known as the Contra-Remonstrants; the Arminians were accused of propagating false doctrine and perceived as ready to compromise with the Spanish, whereas the Dutch Calvinists were not, so Arminianism was considered by some to be not only theologically unsound but political treason. Planning for a National Synod was begun by Adriaan Pauw in March 1618. Before that, there had been a debate as to whether the synod should be national, as the Contra-Remonstrants wished, or provincial for Holland, as the Remonstrants argued; this decision was worked out in 1617, with outside input from the English ambassador Dudley Carleton. The purpose of the Synod was to settle the controversy over Arminianism, it was subsequently alleged, but never proven, that the outcome had been decided.
According to Frederick Calder, "condemnation was determined before the national synod met." On the other hand, beyond the condemnation of the Arminians, the theological formulations of the Canons of the Synod by no means gave support to all the Gomarists wanted. In fact, Johannes Bogerman, president of the synod, himself a Supralapsarian, argued for the inclusion of the Infralapsarian position in the Canons; the more extreme views of Dutch Calvinists were moderated in the detailed debates. The Synod had members representing Reformed groups from continental Europe, as well as from the British isles. Among these groups were Anglican delegates from the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. Simon Episcopius was spokesman of the 14 Remonstrants who were summoned before the Synod in 1618. At the opening of the synod, Episcopius asked to speak. Episcopius... insisted on being permitted to begin with a refutation of the Calvinistic doctrines that of reprobation, hoping that, by placing his objections to this doctrine in front of all the rest, he might excite such prejudice against the other articles of the system, as to secure the popular voice in his favor.
The Synod, however properly, reminded him... that, as the Remonstrants were accused of departing from the Reformed faith, they were bound first to justify themselves, by giving Scriptural proof in support of their opinions. The Arminians would not submit to this plan of procedure because it destroyed their whole scheme of argument... and were thus compelled to withdraw. Upon their departure, the Synod proceeded without them, he concluded by expressing his dissatisfaction with the organization of the assembly, that the Contra-Remonstrants had prevented an accurate representation of the Arminian supporters in the Dutch Reformed Church with votes in the synod. A delegation of Episcopius consisting of Bernard Arentsz Dwinglo and Johannes Arnoldi Corvinus called on the Church of England representatives, others coming from outside, asking for support and giving written accounts of the context. After that a month was spent on procedural matters concerning the Remonstrants, they were ejected from the Synod at session 57 on 14 January.
The Synod concluded with a rejection of the Arminian views, set forth the Reformed doctrine on each point, namely: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, the perseverance of the saints. These are sometimes referred to as the Five points of Calvinism; the nomenclature never inferred that all of Calvinism could be reduced to a mere five points, but that TULIP--the acronym, developed for the teachings of Dort in the English-speaking world--summarized the Calvinist position regarding the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God in salvation. It is The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands, popularly known as the Canons of Dort, is the explanation of the judicial decision of the Synod. In the original preface, the Decision is called: a judgment, in which both, the true view agreeing with God's word concerning the aforesaid five points of doctrine is explained and, the false view disagreeing with God's Word is rejected.
The thirteen Remonstrant ministers, including Episcopius, had been charged to remain in Dort until further instruction. On 20
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