There’s No Theology Like Reformed Theology

This amazing ad came in the “Dollars and Sense” mailer last week. Comments very welcome.

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  • Kenton

    He thinks he’s Ethel Calvin.

  • aint no party like a west coast party cuz a west coast party don’t stop

  • Gotta say that’s the first time I’ve seen an ad for a theology. Lots for churches, but rarely an exposition on the merits of an entire theological system. The actual content I don’t mind at all – it expounds a theological system I’m not personally aligned with but it does so without insulting others (at least I don’t feel insulted in any way).

    On a completely different note, can I suggest an accessibility thing for the future? When you post photos with text in them, that text should be made available so screen readers and those with worse sight in general can see them. That’s not me, but as I looked at this post I realized that it would be completely useless to some users.

    • I agree, Ryan. I’m actually looking into themes that will allow a wider layout. That would give me more space to post images that are text heavy, like this one.

  • I get that he things his theology saves better than Jesus… but seriously I have never seen a church advertise a theological system! I guess you understand what they are about and what/who they worship : )

    This part made me laugh out loud, “Reformed Theology does not seek to be edgy, cool, or sexy”… I guess he’s not too familiar with the new voices of reformed theology… i.e. Driscoll!

  • Eric

    Sounds sexy to me.

  • CJ

    Yet another moment where Romans 14 beats me upside the head because this is hilarious if only for the implication that being Reformed is more important than or better than being simply Christian.

    Also, Devin, you win awesome points.

  • I’m most intrigued with the poster’s strange paragraph schisms. Is this an ad, or is it

  • Renee

    Personally, I liked the part at the bottom where it shows both a North and South church, all ready for schism, should it occur in Reform-land. Or are they predestined to?

  • Brad

    Wow… I’m convinced now, I’m becoming reformed tomorrow. What papers do I need to sign?

  • I’ve been thinking about this all morning. (Nerd alert, apparently…) On the one hand, it’s hiiiiilarious. On the other hand, I kind of like it. I like that it’s challenging people to understand the theological history of the church, and to care. It assumes people are smart and discerning. I kind of like that it’s saying “Our selling point is how we think about God and we invite you to join us” rather than trying to sell you on the space, the personality of the ministers, the food… I think there’s a little bit of “protesting too much” with the “we’re not cool or sexy” thing, but on the whole, ’tis interesting to me. 🙂

  • Jeremy

    It’s such an odd little ad, but I kind of admire that the emphasis is on the belief system and not on a worship style or personality.

  • Tracy

    The ad itself does not bother me at all; a congregation declaring who they are and welcoming others to join them. The only thing I find humorous is the way name of the North Central Church appears to be “Redeemer Reformed”.

  • Kathy Smith

    One of our near neighbors in GV. An interesting little place with a spacious parking lot where I have actually never seen a car. Of course, I’m usually pursuing my theological conversation elsewhere at 10 and 5 on Sundays.

  • Ethan M

    What fascinates me is that this add seems to appeal only to those who are already Christians. Is it really worth that money to attract those who are already part of the church?

    This is filled with insider language, and Christian code words. If we are going to take an ad out in a paper, let it at least be designed to reach those far from God.

    Nevertheless, like others have said, I admire people who know what they offer and a able to offer it clearly and without malice to others. God bless them and may they make disciples.

  • Dean

    Wow, the Reformed tradition goes way back to the 16th century? It must be true!

  • jay

    I suppose that ad was ordained before the creation of the world, so what can I say?

  • J.T.

    They can have anybody this ad nets for them.

  • It reads to me like a statement of faith and an awfully good one. (Not one I would subscribe to, an entirely orthogonal matter.) It doesn’t bluster or put down, it focuses on principles and methods rather than points of dogma. Putting it out front like this says (even to somebody who doesn’t know exactly what it means) that these people care about this stuff.
    And it seems like a useable rope around a trad version of “Reformed”, at least. I’d like to drop in there, if I were nearby.

  • everything about it is appealing …

  • DRT

    I wish they would keep reforming…

    Devin, yes (I had to look that up then listen to the song on utube….at that time I had three kids 5 and under and was going to night school while having a job….just excuses).

    Eric, you are a sick pup

    • Eric

      Reformed sexy.

  • DRT

    …and why does one start at 10:15, and the newer one at 10:30? Imagine the meetings that went on to decide that.

  • Greg Gorham

    I give kudos to any church that’s attempting to draw people using theology and not the “great coffee” or “relevant, edgy worship!”

  • I should have said

    Aint no party like a Westminster party

    but the funny time has passed….

  • ben w.

    The REAL “Reformed Party” just happened in the burgeoning evangelical-mecca that is Louisville KY: . Tony if you really want to interact with some of the most prominent voices in reformed evangelical movement, you should take a listen to the video / audio and give your response. Popular opinion would recommend these as a start:
    – David Platt’s”Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions”
    – Mark Dever’s “False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church”
    – Kevin DeYoung’s “Spirit-Powered, Gospel-Driven, Faith-Fueled Effort”

  • What really appeals to me here, is a return to the religion of 16th Century. Being female, I’d love to lose my right to vote, and get burned at the stake as a witch for wearing pants.

    • Yes, because Calvinists continue to discourage women from voting and burn women for wearing pants.

  • Mark Z.

    Tracy: Cut them some slack. It’s hard naming a Reformed church. Let’s look over the traditional options:

    – Saints. You don’t have them. Next.
    – Denomination + location: “First Christian Reformed Church of Bakersfield”. Problem is that there’s probably already one of those in town–most likely the church you schismed from.
    – Focus-grouped megachurchy fluff names like “CrossWay” or “GracePath”. Guaranteed to alienate the excessively sober theological elitists who form the beating heart of your congregation.
    – Significant words in Biblical languages: “Hosanna”, “Agape”, “Shalom”. Probably the safest option.
    – Biblical place-names. As these go, “Emmaus Road” is not half bad–a little obscure for the unchurched, but you don’t really want the unchurched to come and unchurch up the place, do you? If they don’t know what Emmaus is, they can go to GraceWave and drink their mochaccinos in the Worship Experience Facility.
    – Theological concepts. Careful. While the elitists will love you for this, they don’t understand that much of Reformed theology is unfit for public display. If you end up as pastor of First Church of Total Depravity, you’ll never get that stain off your resume.

  • Mark Armstrong

    Personally, I am glad that there is a sovereign, loving, just and merciful God running the universe instead of blind fate. Calvin’s argument in the institutes for God’s providence from scripture was captivating to me.

  • me-n-u

    although I have a habit and proclivity to err there is this… The point of the Old testament is to reveal the broken state of the relationship with God, that of the New testament is to Redeem that broken state. So then, any initiating action that would reveal our flawed nature and need of reconciling our heart to Christ would be found in the expression of the character flaws we show by our words or deeds. For me snobbery, sarcasm, and elitism… In chasing down every aspect of your disdain for the ad that is shown the revelation of our own hurts and hardness are revealed. It is sad that this is then passed over as humor or more erudition on our part… just think a little less churlishness wouldn’t hurt.

  • Zach

    The funny thing is, a lot of these young restless Reformed folks think exactly that: if you ain’t a five pointer, you ain’t a Christian. Did God predestine me to write this…..?

    • ben w.

      Zach, it would be a terrible to hold that someone must affirm T.U.L.I.P. to be a Christian. As one who could likely be labeled a YRR, I don’t know a single person who affirms that one must hold to all 5 points in order to be a Christian. If they do hold that, I would happily rebuke them for you!