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The Reformed Stance

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Distinctive Commitments and Concerns

image of Journal of Reformed Theology

This article attempts to answer the question what makes a particular theology “Reformed”. First of all, three fairly common ways to answer this question are criticized as being reductionist. Over against such attempts, the authors emphasize the plurality of Reformed theology. Next, however, drawing on a concept introduced by philosopher of science Bas van Fraassen, they argue that Reformed theology can still be described as a distinct phenomenon when it is approached as a stance, i.e. as a particular outlook characterized by specific commitments and concerns, rather than as a unique set of propositional beliefs. Finally, it is argued that many of the concerns and commitments that are typical of Reformed theology can be loosely derived from the traditional Reformed adage ecclesia reformata quia semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei.

Affiliations: 1: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ; 2: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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