Reformational Worldview

Worldviews are critical for understanding world history and how ideas have helped to shape global cultures. Cultures are a reflection of what people worship (the cult). At the heart of every culture is a predominant religious worldview. Whether people acknowledge it or not, everyone has a worldview by which they determine the reality in which they live. Within Christianity you can have different worldviews depending upon the theological stream that makes up a certain denomination or stream of thought within Christianity. The reality is that different theological perspectives will have unique worldviews that work themselves out differently from other theological perspectives.

On this web site we will be focusing on the development mainly of a "holistic" biblical worldview that deals with all facets of human life and is referred to as being within the Reformed stream of Christianity. Historically, the Reformation led to the establishment Christian worldviews that helped transform Europe and led to the development of Western civilization. The major theological stream that fueled much of the transformation was a theological perspective known as Covenant theology. This is often referred to as the Reformed church stream which was strongly influenced by John Calvin's theology. The distinguishing characteristic of this theology is the belief that Jesus is both the sovereign Lord of the universe and of every facet of one's life. God's laws apply to both our personal lives as well as the culture. This holistic theology played a major role in the transformation of Europe and the development of Western Civilization.

Calvin's Global Impact

Calvin's theology had an enormous impact on cultures throughoutthe world. While Luther concentrated most of his efforts on soteriology(salvation) issues, Calvin focused on developing a holistic worldview - onethat addressed every facet of life, as well as the cultures of the world. This is known as covenant theology. While Luther lit the match that started theReformation, it was Calvin's theological developments that fueled the fires of the Reformation and led to the transformation of both the church and the global cultures. His theology is largely credited with the rise of Western Civilization. Calvin's theological views led to the rise of republicforms of government and the fall of tyrannical kings that oppressed theliberties of the common people.

Many historians have attributed the founding of Americato Calvin's work. They argue that his ideas led to the rise of America'srepublic form of government and the Constitution. Ironically enough, his ideasare still impacting cultures as a new generation of young people are currentlybeing drawn to his writings within the universities. Time Magazine printed an article entitled "The New Calvinism." It describes abiblical reawakening that is happening on the universities throughout theUnited States. The article reveals that students are rejecting the "seekersensitive" churches in order to find churches with more biblicalsubstance. In particular, they are being drawn to the Calvinistic principlesthat fueled the European Reformation. They find Reformed Calvinism attractivebecause it presents a holistic biblical worldview that addresses theintellectual issues they are encountering within the university setting.

This section includes some rather interesting articles thatdescribe the impact Calvinism (Reformed covenant theology) has had on theworld. The articles are intended as a quick read for those not familiar withchurch history and the influence that Reformed biblical ideas have had intransforming the world. The reader may be surprised to find that Calvin isconsidered by many historians to be one of the original Founders of Americasince his ideas led to the development of our republic form of government.


Recommended readings:

One of the best publications that gives a solid description of the Reformational worldview meta-narrative.

"This book is an intellectual masterpiece; it is first rate scholarship - a theological and historical gem... It is the theological apologetic to act out God's truth in every sphere of life in 21st century Britain and beyond...This book is changing lives." -From the Foreword: Andrea Williams, CEO, Christian Concern and Christian Legal Centre, London "Bold, provocative and illuminating...a potential game changer for modern societies." -Jonathan Burnside, Professor of Biblical Law at the University of Bristol "The Mission of God stands tall as a tour de force of historic Christian orthodoxy.... Boot makes his case with coherence, clarity and conviction." -Greg Downes, Theologian and Missioner, St Michael le Belfrey, York "A hard-hitting tour de force which will no doubt inspire, encourage and provoke ... Recommended." -Dr Daniel Strange, Academic Vice Principal and Tutor in Culture, Religion and Public Theology, Oak Hill College, London, U.K. "As comprehensive an overview of the church's mission in the 21st century as anything you will find presently available ... a great achievement." -Dr Peter Jones (Ph.D), Scholar in Residence, Westminster Theological Seminary, California "A work of theology that can be exegetically profound, philosophically rigorous, historically aware, culturally illuminating, pastorally wise with a serious love for the church and the lost is an extremely rare feat.... This book is a must read." -Dr Thaddeus Williams (Ph.D). Assistant Professor of Theology, Biola University, U.S.A. "The most comprehensive and cogent argument for the perpetuity of God's moral law as it relates to civil legislation written in 40 years...A breath of fresh air amid both the hermeneutical nihilism and pietistic retreatism in the modern church... An intellectual force to be reckoned with." -Dr P. Andrew Sandlin (S.T.D) President, Center for Cultural Leadership, California "Dr Joe Boot is one of the top Christian apologists writing and speaking today ... this book is an intellectual tour de force ... Impressive in both breadth and scope." -Dr Gabriel Fluhrer, Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary Global Campus, U.S.A. "I could not put it down ... this book is destined to be a classic." -Rev. Dr Bishop Joshua HK Banda (Ph.D), President, Southern Africa Region of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Africa --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


David Hall lays out the case that America's founding was strongly influenced by ideas that fueled the Protestant 

Reformation. Most influential were the ideas of John Calvin.


Douglas Kelly documents the influence of Calvin's ideas in the rise of liberty in Europe and America. Calvin's work has been credited by many theologians as having provided the foundation for the rise of Western Civilization and republic forms of governance. These forms of government led to increased liberties of the common people from tyrannical kings that abused their powers. The concept of government rulers being in a covenant with both the people and God led to government leaders being held accountable for respecting God's laws with regard to how they treated God's people. Kelly's book documents how these theological ideas impacted Europe and let to the rise of liberties in the West. This provides a great historical account of the impact of biblical law on the surrounding cultures where Reformed theology flourished.


Law and Revolution

Harold Berman's masterwork narrates the interaction of evolution and revolution in the development of Western law. This new volume explores two successive transformations of the Western legal tradition under the impact of the sixteenth-century German Reformation and the seventeenth-century English Revolution, with particular emphasis on Lutheran and Calvinist influences. Berman examines the far-reaching consequences of these apocalyptic political and social upheavals on the systems of legal philosophy, legal science, criminal law, civil and economic law, and social law in Germany and England and throughout Europe as a whole.

Berman challenges both conventional approaches to legal history, which have neglected the religious foundations of Western legal systems, and standard social theory, which has paid insufficient attention to the communitarian dimensions of early modern economic law, including corporation law and social welfare.

Clearly written and cogently argued, this long-awaited, magisterial work is a major contribution to an understanding of the relationship of law to Western belief systems.


The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism 1st Edition

by John Witte Jr (Author)
John Calvin developed arresting new teachings on rights and liberties, church and state, and religion and politics that shaped the law of Protestant lands. Calvin's original teachings were periodically challenged by major crises - the French Wars of Religion, Dutch Revolt, the English Civil War, American colonization, and American Revolution. In each such crisis moment, a major Calvinist figure emerged - Theodore Beza, Johannes Althusius, John Milton, John Winthrop, John Adams, and others - who modernized Calvin's teachings and translated them into dramatic new legal and political reforms. This rendered early modern Calvinism one of the driving engines of Western constitutionalism. A number of basic Western laws on religious and political rights, social and confessional pluralism, federalism and constitutionalism, and more owe a great deal to this religious movement. This book is essential reading for scholars and students of history, law, religion, politics, ethics, human rights, and the Protestant Reformation.