Canons of Dort

The Canons of Dort, or Canons of Dordrecht, formally titled The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands, is the judgment of the National Synod held in the Dutch city of Dordrecht in 1618–19.[1] At the time, Dordrecht was often referred to in English as Dort or Dordt.

Today the Canons of Dort form part of the Three Forms of Unity, one of the confessional standards of many of the Reformed churches around the world, including the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, and North America. Their continued use as a standard still forms an unbridgable problem preventing close cooperation between the followers of Jacob Arminius, the Remonstrants, and Dutch Reformed Churches.

These canons are in actuality a judicial decision on the doctrinal points in dispute from the Arminian controversy of that day. Following the death of Arminius (1560–1609), his followers set forth a Remonstrance (published in 1610) in five articles formulating their points of departure from the stricter Calvinism of the Belgic Confession. The Canons are the judgment of the Synod against this Remonstrance. [2] Regardless, Arminian theology later received official acceptance by the State and has since continued in various forms within Protestantism, especially within the Methodist churches.[3]

The Canons were not intended to be a comprehensive explanation of Reformed doctrine, but only an exposition on the five points of doctrine in dispute.[4] The five points of Calvinism, remembered by the mnemonic "TULIP"[5] and popularized by a 1963 booklet,[6] are popularly said to summarize the Canons of Dort.[7] Also see Stewart's essay in chapter 3.[8] However there is no historical relationship between them, and some scholars argue that their language distorts the meaning of the Canons.[9]

Canons of Dort

Notes

  1. ^ Horton, Michael (2011). The Christian Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 562. ISBN 0310286042.
  2. ^ Peterson, Robert; Williams, Michael (2004), Why I am not an Arminian, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, p. 124, ISBN 0830832483
  3. ^ Olson, Roger E. (20 August 2009). Arminian Theology. InterVarsity Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780830874439. Arminian theology was at first suppressed in the United Provinces (known today as the Netherlands) but caught on there later and spread to England and the American colonies, largely through the influence of John Wesley and the Methodists.These Canons of Dordt (or Dort) made by the Dutch Reformed Churches are still used in many reformed churches today.
  4. ^ "Canons of Dort". 4 June 2012.
  5. ^ Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the saints.
  6. ^ Stewart, Kenneth J. (2008). "The Points of Calvinism: Retrospect and Prospect" (PDF). Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology. 26 (2): 189–193.
  7. ^ R. C. Sproul (1997), What is Reformed Theology?, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, pp. 27–28
  8. ^ Stewart, Kenneth J. (2011). Ten Myths about Calvinism. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.
  9. ^ Muller, Richard A. (2012). Calvin and the Reformed Tradition (Ebook ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. pp. 50–51.

Further reading

  • But for the Grace of God by Cornelis P. Venema
  • The Golden Chain of Salvation by John Bouwers
  • Unspeakable Comfort by Peter Feenstra
  • The Voice of our Fathers by Homer Hoeksema
  • The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Lorraine Boettner
  • The Synod of Dordt by Thomas Scott
  • The Canons of Dordt by Henry Peterson
  • The Five Points of Calvinism by David Steele and Curtis Thomas
  • The Works of John Owen, Vol. 10
  • TULIP by William Jay Hornbeck II

External links

Christian Reformed Church in Nicaragua

The Christian Reformed Church in Nicaragua or the Iglesia Cristiana Reformada de Nicaragua was founded by the missionaries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America after the 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua. Two Mexican evangelists from Mexico City came to assist the mission. In 2004 there was 8 congregations are in Manauga, Tipitapa, Muy Muy, Chinandega, Nagarote and El Tamarinho with hundreds of members. It affirms the Apostles Creed, Canons of Dort, Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Confession.

Dutch Reformed Church in Botswana

The Dutch Reformed Church in Botswana was founded by Swiss missionaries led by Rev. Henri Gronin begun working in 1863 among the tribe Bakgatla, Kgafela in Saulsport and Rustenburg in South Africa. In 1870 part of the tribe moved north to Botswana and the missionaries followed them. The great chief was baptised and most of the tribe followed him. In 1966 when Botswana become independent, a Synod of the Reformed Church was formed. In the 1970s the church gained independence. The church in the following years expanded to Basarwa, Bakalanga and Bakgatla.The denomination has 6,000 members and 13 parishes with 50 house fellowships in 2 presbyteries and one Synod. The 14 churches are in : Muchudi, Muchudi East, Muchudi West, Sikwane, Gaborone, Tlokweng, Lobatse, Kgalagadi, Ghanzi, Maun, Makaleng, Selebi Phikwe, Boseja (Mochudi).The church subscribe the Reformed confessions:

Apostles Creed

Nicene Creed

Canons of Dort

Heidelberg Catechism.The church is member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

Free Reformed Churches of North America

The Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA) is a theologically conservative federation of churches in the Dutch Calvinist tradition with congregations in the United States and Canada. It officially adopted its current name in 1974.These churches together confess the Bible to be the Word of God and believe it is faithfully summarized by the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort. This denomination adheres to the five points of Calvinism. It is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken - CGKN).

The Free Reformed Churches of North America should not be confused (although named quite similarly) with the Free Reformed Churches of Australia or Free Reformed Churches of South Africa.

Independent Reformed Church in Korea

The Independent Reformed Church in Korea(IRCK) is a Conservative Christian denomination in South Korea. It was established in 1964, and was the only church to use Reformed in its name. It confess the Westminster Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort and the ecumenical creeds.It has its own seminary, the Theological Academy of the Independent Reformed Church.It is a member of the International Conference of Reformed Churches.The Independent Reformed Church was started in 1964 with only one church, because of a serious schism in the largest Presbyterian denomination regarding the issue or whether to join the World Council of Churches. Now the denomination consists of four small churches. The churches' membership includes about 552 persons, of whom 310 are communicant members as of 2005.The IRCK has limited ecclesiastical fellowship with the Christian Reformed Churches (Netherlands) and the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated), closer ties with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and fellowship in Korea with the Independent Reformed Presbyterian Church in Korea which has 8 congregations and six hundred souls.

Limited atonement

Limited atonement (or definite atonement or particular redemption) is a doctrine accepted in some Christian theological traditions. It is particularly associated with the Reformed tradition and is one of the five points of Calvinism. The doctrine states that though the death of Jesus Christ is sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world, it was the intention of God the Father that the atonement of Christ's death would work itself out in the elect only, thereby leading them without fail to salvation. According to Limited Atonement, Christ died for the sins of the elect alone, and no atonement was provided for the reprobate. This is in contrast to a belief that God's prevenient grace (or "enabling grace") enables all to respond to the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ Acts 2:21 so that it is each person's decision and response to God's grace that determines whether Christ's atonement will be effective to that individual.

Netherlands Reformed Congregations

The Netherlands Reformed Congregations, is a conservative denomination with congregations in Canada, the United States and Bolivia.

It is affiliated with the Reformed Congregations (Gereformeerde Gemeenten) in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands Reformed Congregations aim to remain true to inerrant Scripture (the Bible) and its Reformed heritage as expounded in the denomination’s doctrinal standards: Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort. They are also in agreement with the Westminster Standards.

Nigeria Reformed Church

The Nigeria Reformed Church was a mission project of the Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands. The work was started in 1970. In 2000 the denomination had 1,911 members. The church operates in the Izi tribe, comprising about a half million members in the north of Anambra state. The first mission point was opened on 28 August 1977. Over the years missionary congregations created and instituted. In April 1988 the federation was instituted with 17 ministers and 8 deacons served the church. Since then it become independent.

In 2011 the church had 2,500 members in 14 local congregations, 6 mission district in 4 Classis. The church served 9 pastors and 26 evangelists. Currently there are two missionaries working in Nigeria. The Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort and the Belgic Confession are the official standards.

Orthodox Christian Reformed Churches in North America

The Orthodox Christian Reformed Churches (OCRC) were a theologically conservative federation of churches in the Dutch Calvinist tradition. Although the federation has disbanded, most of its churches still exist. They are in the United States and Canada. They confess the Bible to be the Word of God and believe it is faithfully summarized by the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort.

Reformed Church in Africa (South Africa)

The Reformed Church in Africa, South Africa (RCA) is a Reformed Calvinist denomination which works primarily among the Indian community in South Africa. It has about 800,000 members, although it is open to all people. Most of its members are ethnically Indian converts from Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism or no religion.

It was founded in 1968 in Pietermaritzburg as the Indian Reformed Church. The name of the denomination was subsequently changed to the RCA. In 2004, it had 2,386 members in 12 congregations and 14 house fellowships.

The RCA subscribes to the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort.On 28 October 2012, the RCA celebrated its 40th anniversary of being established as the Reformed Church in Africa.It is currently a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

Reformed Church in Zimbabwe

The Reformed Church in Zimbabwe was founded by Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa missionaries in 1891. Andrew A. Louw begun to preach among Shona people. The worship language of churches was Afrikaans and English. Later the denomination expanded among Nyanja people. In 1995 a new center was opened in Dete. The church subscribes the Apostles Creed, Athanasian Creed, Nicene Creed, Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort. It had 46 congregations and 150 house fellowships and about 90,000 members in 2004.It is a member of the World Council of Churches, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, and the World Communion of Reformed Churches. It support various primary and secondary schools and the Murray Theological College.

Reformed Church of Mozambique (Mphatso Synod)

The Reformed Church of Mozambique (Mphatso Synod) was founded in the 1990s. There are now 3 Synods, 4 Presbyteries in Tete, and 4 in Zambesia and 70,000 members. Official languages are Portuguese, Lomwe and Chichewa. The Synod affirms the Apostles Creed, Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort. The Christian Reformed Church in North America supports the Synod.

Reformed Churches in Argentina

The Reformed Churches in Argentina was established in the 19th century by Dutch immigrants. They settled around Buenos Aires and Patagonia. Men and women participate in all ministries. The church has close links with the Waldesian Church – their synods have joint sessions and a joint General Assembly. The denomination has 13 congregations and 700 members. The denomination adheres to the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Canons of Dort, Heidelberg Catechism and the Athanasian Creed. It is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.The Reformed Churches in Argentina united with the Evangelical Church of the River Plate in 2010.

Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Restored)

The Reformed Churches (Restored) (Dutch: Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (hersteld)), also known as the New Reformed Churches (Dutch: Nieuwe Vrijgemaakte Kerken) constitute a Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It separated from the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) in 2003. Officially named the "Reformed Churches in the Netherlands", they are usually called the "Reformed Churches (Restored)" to avoid confusion with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) and the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKN).

In the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) or GKV has always been a group that believed that the Liberated Reformed church is the only true denomination. In 1985 a document was released, which stated that the GKV is the only true church. In 2003 in the GKV a group become dissatisfied, and separated from the GKV, because of the Synod decision on divorce and Sunday rest.

The Three Forms of Unity, the Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort and the Heidelberg Catechism are the official standards adopted in the First Synod meetind in 2005.In 2007 the church had one Synod, 2 classes and 12 congregations in the Netherlands.In the Southwest Classis are congregations in Bergschenkhoek, Hasselt and Zwolle. In the Northeast Classis have congregations in Emen, Groningen, Olterterp, Marienberg, Bruchtervelt, Assen and Bergentheim.The denomination publishes its own magazine the Reformed Continua.

Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands (unconnected)

The Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands (unconnected) was founded in 1980, by a dissenting group from the Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands. Unconnected means outside the structure of the Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands. Seven congregations and 3,000 members belong to this church. It adheres to the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort.

Reformed Presbyterian Church of Uganda

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Uganda is an indigenous confessional Reformed and Presbyterian denomination in Uganda.It was separated from the Presbyterian Church in Uganda. In 1989 controversy arose over a case of church discipline. Attempt were made at reconciliation, but the new denomination the Reformed Presbyterian Church was formed in 1990. The center of the Church's activities is in Kampala, Uganda. The denomination is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the World Reformed FellowshipThe church had 5,000 members and dozens of congregations in 2004. The Reformed Presbyterian Church subscribes the Apostles Creed, Canons of Dort, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Confession and Westminster Larger Catechism.It has growing church planting ministry in Uganda, and supports and runs several Christian schools.

Subordinate standard

A subordinate standard is a Reformed confession of faith, catechism or other doctrinal or regulatory statement subscribed to by a Protestant church, setting out key elements of religious belief and church governance. It is subordinate to the Bible as the supreme standard, which is held as divinely inspired and without error.

Examples of such standards are the Westminster Confession of Faith, drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England. It became and remains the subordinate standard of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide. The Westminster Confession of Faith was modified and adopted by Congregationalists in England in the form of the Savoy Declaration (1658). Likewise, the Baptists of England modified the Savoy Declaration to produce the Second London Baptist Confession (1689). The Three Forms of Unity (the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort) were adopted as subordinate standards in the Dutch Reformed Church, a practice which was embraced by most Dutch Reformed denominations and federations around the world.

In Scotland, the Scots Confession of 1560, drawn up by John Knox and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation, was the first subordinate standard for the Protestant church in Scotland. Enacted in law in 1567, it was superseded by the Westminster Confession in 1648.

While some churches identify only one key document as their subordinate standard, others specify several. For example, in 1789 the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith, together with the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism, but modified the Confession to bring its teaching on civil government in line with American practices and removed references to the Pope as an Antichrist. The Presbyterian Reformed Church (North America) adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith along with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms and Directory of Public Worship, while the (separate) Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America considers as its constitution the same standards along with the Testimony, Directory for Church Government, and Book of Discipline. In Australia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia accepts the Westminster Confession of Faith, read in the light of a Declaratory Statement of 1901. The Presbyterian Church of Victoria, one of its constituent bodies, also subscribes to the "general principles" of the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the Form of Presbyterial Church Government, the Directory of Public Worship, and the 1578 Second Book of Discipline. The Presbyterian Church in Canada produced a Declaration of Faith Concerning Church and Nation deemed a "subordinate standard" of the PCC in 1954.

Churches specifying only the Westminster Confession of Faith include the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland and Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The United Free Church of Scotland specified the Westminster Confession while asserting the church's right to modify it.

Synod of Dort

The Synod of Dort (also known as the Synod of Dordt or the Synod of Dordrecht) was an international Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618–1619, by the Dutch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The first meeting was on 13 November 1618 and the final meeting, the 180th, was on 29 May 1619. Voting representatives from eight foreign Reformed churches were also invited. Dort was a contemporary English term for the town of Dordrecht (and it remains the local colloquial pronunciation).

In 2014 the first entire critical edition of the Acts and Documents of the Synod was published.

Three Forms of Unity

The Three Forms of Unity is a collective name for the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Heidelberg Catechism, which reflect the doctrinal concerns of continental Calvinism and are accepted as official statements of doctrine by many of the Reformed churches.

United Reformed Church in Myanmar

The United Reformed Churches in Myanmar is a confessional conservative Reformed denomination in Myanmar.

It has 16 local churches (5 in Yangon Classis, 5 in Kalay Classis and 6 in Falam Claasis) and two mission fields. There are 17 ordained clergy in 2019. The Church adheres to the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and Canons of Dort) Apostles Creed and the Westminster Confession of Faith.It is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship.The denomination is a founding member of the Reformed and Presbyterian Fellowship in Myanmar in 2008.

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