I think it is laughable that so-called “reformed” thinkers accuse anyone who is not an hyper-five-point-calvanist of being an “un-reformed” promoter of a “man-centered” gospel.
These are folks who regularly demonstrate their ignorance of history and lack of understanding about what the reformation was about. Thier brand of theology would accuse even Calvin of not being “calvanist enough”.
One of the “last straws” that kicked off the Reformation was about trying to reform the Catholic Church and stop practices such as people buying “indulgences” from priests (paying money for forgiveness of sin).
The reformation was a reaction against the abuses of the Roman Catholic church, and the writings of the reformers reflect this.
Here’s a quick timeline to consider:
1384 – Wycliffe English Bible
1509 – John Calvin born
1517 – Martin Luther’s “Nintey-Five Theses”
1536 – Calvin’s reform work begins, publishes “Institues of the Christian Religeon”
1542-1546 – Calvin’s Reign of Terror in Geneva
1564 – John Calvin dies
1610 – Five articles of Remonstrance
1619 – Five Points of Calvinism
The Five Articles of Remonstrance were a reaction to hyper-calvanism.
The Five Points of Calvanism were a reaction to the Five Articles of Remonstrance.
As with anything that is “a reaction to something”, all to often exaggerated statements are used in order to emphasize distinction.
Typically this is not too much of a problem unless people baseline their reasoning on these exaggerated statements instead of on scripture alone.
Folks all too often veer away from one ditch only to land themselves into another ditch.
The best thing to do, is put away all pre-conceived notions and “traditions of men” and just read the Bible and follow what scripture says.
“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men-—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
Mark 7:13 “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
[NOTE: Interestingly enough the Five Points of Calvanism did not come about until over 100 years after the start of the Reformation. Many modern “reformational thinkers” act as if Calvin (or at least their idealized understanding of Calvin) was the only reformer, when in fact there were many. Of course Calvin was the only one to become a theocratic dicator of his own city-state where he oversaw the execution of 58 people–many just for being critical of his “Institutes of the Christian Religeon”. So, that may have something to do with it. Interesting that while other reformers were willing to die for what they believed, Calvin was willing to kill for what he believed…]