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The Dynamics of the Reformed Reformation: German Reformed Church Orders in the 16th Century

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Chapter Summary

The spirituality and theology of the Reformed church in the Netherlands was very much a "lived religion" throughout the 17th and 18th century, firmly embedded in everyday life. Van Lieburg has clarified that the term reformed should not be seen as denoting something static but rather as a dynamic, always incomplete process. Calvin's model of a presbyterial-synodal church order as a basic model of Reformed ecclesiology was only partly realized in Geneva. It was different in Reformed churches that lived under persecution and that did not have to deal with a confusion of political and ecclesiastical aims, as was the case in Geneva. The dynamics of Reformed ecclesiology and practice become apparent both in the changeability of ecclesial constitutions and in the self awareness of individual Reformed Christians. Both features continue to be challenging-and are eminently up-to-date.

Keywords: Calvin's model; ecclesiology; Geneva; presbyterial-synodal church; reformed church



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