Difference Between Lutheranism and Calvinism

Lutheranism and Calvinism are both protestant denominations, and are named after Martin Luther and John Calvin respectively. There are some major differences between the two forms of ideologies. Calvinism believes in predestination, meaning there are only a few who deserve to attain salvation, while Lutheranism is more flexible as it believes anyone can get salvation with faith and effort.

Another major difference is “sovereignty of God”. Calvinism believes in full sovereignty of God and does not allow man to set his own fundamentals. Calvinism believes that commandments can only come from God and man’s role is to follow those commandments and guidance revealed by the Creator. On the other hand, Lutheranism does not prohibit man to have some control over certain aspects of life.


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    Calvinism is named after John Calvin and it also goes by the name of Reformed tradition in some countries. Calvinism is a Protestant doctrine based on the principle of the sovereignty of God in all things and every aspect of life. The ideology was actually developed by several theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Ulrich Zwingli and Beza, but it gained popularity with the name of John Calvin.

    Calvin had been an influential personality among protestants and he often argued with representatives of Roman Catholic Church. Calvinism is also known for the doctrines of predestination.

    The global influence of John Calvin on the development of the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation gained ground at the age of twenty-five, when he started writing the first edition of his theological treatise entitled “Institutes of the Christian religion” in 1534.

    The term Calvinism is somewhat tricky in the sense that it can lead to think that the doctrine of Calvinist churches or movements corresponds fully to the writings of Calvin. But over the past few centuries, the doctrine has undergone some (little) changes and modifications.

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    The Lutheran (or Lutheranism) is the theology based on the writings and thoughts of Martin Luther, a reformer from Germany. The ideology then grew into a Lutheran Protestant community related to completely different doctrine than other Protestant denominations.

    Luther's theology is the common property of all the Protestant Reformation. There are also theological currents referring especially to him, including the Reformed Churches. This is why Lutheranism can be called a sect of Protestantism, which is itself a branch of Christianity.

    Lutheranism is far more flexible than Calvinism as it does not restrict its followers to make amendments to some of the rules made by God. It stresses the importance of consensus and modification according to changing times.

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