How Charles Discovered The Reformed Confession

After a great renovation project of the sanctuary-now-Worship-Center, the church began to hold large Christian concerts and special events. One such event was the Gospel Tour. Two pastors were coming whom I had not heard of, one of them, Matt Chandler. I began to Google and research – the grand inquisitor that I am. The term “Calvinism” began to appear. I cross referenced this information with some familiar pastors and teachers, mostly affiliated with Calvary Chapel. Key words in the discussion were immediately dismissed: sovereignty, doctrines of grace, TULIP, election, depravity. Free will and man’s ability had been ingrained in my thinking to this point, but I continued to study and search for answers.

…I was finishing up my undergraduate studies and was beginning to wonder about certain “presuppositions” held since my years in Calvary Chapel and the non-denom world. Such big theological words like Ecclesiology, Eschatology, and Sacramentology were under review while I read through volumes of treatises. A piercing question I had was, “What is with these covenants and the theology surrounding them?” Simultaneously, our family began going to a “gospel-centered” Acts 29 church.

While we were at this church, which on paper was an RCA church (Reformed Church of America) affiliated with Acts 29 and pastored by a Baptist commissioned in the RCA (I came to find out later how peculiar this was), I began to take a deeper dive into the Reformed tradition. I can remember thinking at one point, “Wait. You mean there are Christians that baptize their babies, other than Roman Catholics!” Wow, was I in for a surprise! I could not believe that most of the church throughout history included the children of believers, the Christian household, within the life of the church demonstrated by the holy sacrament of baptism. The difference is in how Scripture is read. And as I went back to Scripture, it was all making sense.

After our first year at this church, I began my seminary studies at Westminster in Escondido, California. I went into summer Greek and that first year, “Paedo-curious.” Being absolutely sure of the truth of infant baptism through Reformed covenant theology did not take very long. After a whirlwind of Summer Greek, the Fall opened up with an introduction to Historical Theology and the early church, Reformed hermeneutics and Biblical Theology in the Spring, and by the end of the first year, I was fully convinced of God’s gracious promise to be a God to his people and their children. My deep dive into Reformed Theology continued from this point on baptism specifically, towards the Sacraments in general, and into finer points of the Covenants, the Law/Gospel distinction, and the Trinity’s sovereign rule over a twofold kingdom. I found that the beauty of the Reformed faith, piety, and practice was a holistic approach to all of the Christian life and worship of our triune God (ode to Dr. R. Scott Clark). Read more»

Charles Vaughn | “Isn’t The Reformed Faith Grand?” | March 19, 2022

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One comment

  1. Praise the Lord for Calvary Chapel. I remember reading somewhere that CC has unintentionally made more Christians into Calvinists than any other theological tradition.

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