A generation ago, when mainline churches in the United States were still growing, concern for Reformed doctrine was often noticeably absent in American religious life. Whether because of defection from distinctly Reformed doctrines by the major Presbyterian and Reformed bodies, secular rejection of religion as a significant force in life, or the mere weakness and silence of those who stand within the Presbyterian tradition, distinctly Calvinistic doctrines were seldom heard, despite holding operations in such bastions of the Reformed faith as Westminster Seminary and Calvin College and Seminary of the Christian Reformed Church.
In our day, a time when many denominations are declining and religion is apparently losing its hold, there appears to be a renewed interest in Calvinistic theology and a resurgence of those committed to the doctrines of grace summarized in the Reformed standards: the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, the Canons of Dort, the Belgic Confession, and the Heidelberg Catechism. Ways are being found to highlight the Reformed faith nationally.
On the local level, observers have noted with some surprise the impressive growth of important Reformed colleges and seminaries. Covenant College, located at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, reports a record number of students for the current school year. Its sister institution, Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, has had a 20 per cent increase since 1972. Even more remarkable is the growth of the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, now highly regarded by the breakaway 80,000-member Presbyterian Church in America (briefly called the National Presbyterian Church), although many of its faculty and students have not given up on the Presbyterian Church in ...1
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