'''Calvinism''' (also known as [[Reformed Churches|Reformed Theology]]) is a
system of belief and practice in Christianity that was first developed by the 16th century Protestant theologian , [[John Calvin]].
It is most often identified with Calvin's teaching on the question of salvation. His view was summed up by five points, often referred to by the acronym TULIP
*'''T'''otal Depravity - every person is born with a sinful nature since the fall of man in the [[Garden of Eden]].*'''U'''nconditional Election - [[God]] chose every person
whom He would save. This is also referred to as [[Predestination]].*'''L'''imited Atonement - [[Jesus]] only died for those whom God chose for salvation.
*'''I'''rresistible Grace - Man has no free will over his eternal fate, and anybody whom God chooses for salvation cannot resist His call.
*'''P'''erseverance of the Saints - Once one is saved, they cannot lose their salvation and will persevere throughout their lives.
Some persons do not hold to all five points, and refer to themselves by the number of "points" to which they adhere. For example, a number of people agree with all points except for Limited Atonement, and thus refer to themselves as "Four Point Calvinists" .
== Doctrine ==
The basic distinction of Calvinism is that it teaches that the purpose of all creation is to glorify God.
That is therefore the central theme of Calvinism. It also emphasizes God's supremacy over all spheres of life, holding firmly to the doctrine of [[divine providence]].
Calvin himself published his ''Institutes of the Chrstian Religion'' in 1559. This comprehensive work is characterized by his motto of ''[[sola scriptura|Sola Sacra Scriptura]]'', because he believed the [[Bible]] to be the absolute authority in all matters of faith and containing all that is necessary for salvation.