Luther in Dutch Reformed Orthodoxy: A Bag of Worms against the Lutherans

van den Belt, H. 15-May-2017 Luther and Calvinism: Image and Reception of Martin Luther in the History and Theology of Calvinism. Selderhuis, H. J. & Lange van Ravenswaay, J. M. J. (eds.). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, p. 427-442 16 p. (Refo500 Academic Series; vol. 42)

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  • Luther in Dutch Reformed Orthodoxy (preversie)

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Although there is little explicit reference to Martin Luther’s theology in Dutch Reformed sources, still Luther serves as an ally against Lutheran orthodoxy. Confronted with the wish of Lutherans in the Dutch Republic to organize separate Lutheran congregations, some Reformed authors like Caspar Grevinchoven (1550–1606) and Henricus Alutarius (1592–1633) suggested that the Lutherans – whom they called neo-Lutherans – could join the Reformed churches, because there was no essential difference between Luther and them. Some later theologians, such as Johannes de Mey (1617–1678), were less polemical, advocating a unification of churches from both confessions on the basis of the fundamental doctrines they held in common. Remarkably, the (Altered) Augsburg Confession was seen as a pan-protestant confessional statement by the Reformed. In its conclusions this paper suggests that Luther was not often explicitly referred to, because Reformed theologians did not understand theology in historical or contextual terms but as reflection of eternal truths revealed in Scripture and found continuity with the Church Fathers more important than explicit references to the Reformers, because of their view of the catholicity of the Reformed church.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLuther and Calvinism
Subtitle of host publicationImage and Reception of Martin Luther in the History and Theology of Calvinism
EditorsHerman J. Selderhuis, J. Marius J. Lange van Ravenswaay
Place of PublicationGöttingen
PublisherVandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783647552620
ISBN (Print)9783525552629
StatePublished - 15-May-2017

Publication series

NameRefo500 Academic Series
ISSN (Print)2197-0165


  • Reformed Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Caspar Grevinchoven (1550–1606), Henricus Alutarius (1592–1633), Johannes de Mey (1617–1678), Altered Augsburg Confession

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