Why a Reformed worldview?
We chose to focus on a Reformed covenantal approach to a biblical worldview development because it is more concise and encompassing with regard to developing a holistic worldview that addresses all facets of life. Using the terms like Christian worldview or an evangelical worldview are too nebulously defined to derive specific principles upon which to establish a holistic worldview.
The history of the Reformation reveals that the theology developed out of the Reformed churches in Europe had the most transformational impact on the European people and their culture. This is especially true with regard to its impact on governments. Reformed theology had a major influence in the development and rise of republic forms of government and personal liberties. These governments displaced the previous monarchies that ruled over the people often in a tyrannical manner. John Calvin and his associates are credited with developing many of the theological principles that had such a profound impact on the transformation of Europe. While Luther lit the match that started the Reformation with his work on salvation theology, Calvin was more focused in understanding how biblical revelation should be used in fulfillment of the Great Commission where Jesus directed Christians to disciple the nations. Calvinistic theology was highly transformational to both individuals and their surrounding cultures.
Reformed covenantal theology was further developed and carried to America by the early Puritan and Pilgrim settlers who first arrived and settled there. The early state governments in colonial America reveal a strong influence by Reformed covenant theology. These early state governments established the distribution of political power into republic systems of government in which the people chose their leaders who were accountable to both God and the people for how they governed. This pattern followed the church government patterns that had previously developed a similar structure. Calvin believed in the fallen nature of mankind taught in the Bible. In light of this revelation he taught that all men are sinners capable of the worst behavior as tyrants. To prevent this temptation to tyrannical power he taught the break up of political power such that even the pastor in a Reformed church could not be entrusted with too much power and had to be restrained by the division of power through a checks and balance system within the Reformed churches. Reformed Covenant theology provided the basic ideas that were later used by our Founders to establish the American republic form of government. According to Ian Speir, "Witherspoon and Madison's Calvinist theology and political philosophy imparted a firm belief that self-interest could be harnessed, ambition checked, and power balanced within government so that liberty and the common good were made secure."
Reformed covenant theology also had a strong impact on individuals due their direct accountability to God. The result was a personal transformation of the people based on the biblical principles found in the Bible, God's revealed word for living. This resulted in a population which was self-governing and highly moral. Big government was not required to keep people in line with the law since people were generally inclined to follow the law based on their faith. Instead, government was considered to be a servant of the people, as opposed to a master of them, based on the teachings of Romans 13 regarding the biblical role of the magistrates.
The Calvinistic ideas found in Covenant theology provided both the religious and ideological foundation for the American nation and its culture. However, these concepts were not limited to America. John Calvin believed his role was to develop other leaders to help the church disciple the nations of the world. To attain that end he established the Geneva Academy. Here he trained men, such as John Knox, who returned to his native Scotland and helped to transform that nation into a Christian Protestant nation. Geneva Academy effectively trained many other leaders that took the biblical principles they learned there to other parts of Europe. The Academy was so effective in training leaders that Thomas Jefferson actually tried to get it transplanted to the United States. Hopefully the reader will realize the importance that Reformed Covenant theology played both in the transformation of Europe and the establishment of the United States. We will list and explain many of these principles on this website with the hope that leaders in other nations will use these concepts to impact their nations with a holistic biblical worldview that provides both individual liberty to the individual as well as political liberty to their nations.