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Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition


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Beginning to study Reformed theology is like stepping into a family conversation that has been going on for five hundred years. How do you find your bearings and figure out how to take part in this conversation?

The Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition takes on this rich, boisterous and varied tradition in its broad contours, filling you in on its common affirmations as well as its family tensions. Here you will find succinct and reliable entries on:

  • Latin terms, such as ad fontes and sola fide
  • Theologians, from Calvin to Torrance
  • Confessions, such as the Belgic and Westminster
  • Doctrines, such as atonement and sanctification
  • Apologists, such as Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til
  • And much more.

The Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition is ready to assist you over the rough parts of readings, lectures, conversations and blogs. It will also be a companionable and concise introduction to one of the great Christian traditions.

"Only well-informed teachers can summarize large topics in a way that is both accurate and accessible. That is precisely what the authors of this pocket dictionary have achieved." ŚMichael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology & Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California


  • Provides quick access to essential knowledge
  • Full of reliable information from two Reformed theologians
  • Provides clear definitions of terms, ideas, movements, people in an A-to-Z format
  • Provides a portable "help desk" for beginning students of Reformed theology
  • Includes a classified bibliography for further reading

From the Preface

Few theological traditions are as complex, rich and varied as the Reformed tradition. This is a rewarding heritage that has sustained and fostered the faith of many Christians through the centuries and around the globe. Yet it is easily misunderstood and misrepresented, by both insiders and outsiders. For example, sometimes John Calvin is viewed as the devil, and sometimes he is treated in messianic ways. Both views are problematic and false. We must know at least a little about Calvin if we are to understand and appreciate this tradition, but Calvin is only one person, and the Reformed tradition is so much more than simply a footnote to him.

What we have attempted to do in this very small dictionary is provide a basic reference tool for folks who want to know a little about the people, movements and terms that are so important to the Reformed tradition. We view this resource, with just over three hundred entries, as a launching pad rather than a resting place. We hope to get you started in your appreciation of the tradition and to help remove the disorientation that so often occurs when entering a new conversation. We expect readers to dip in and out rather than read this book cover to cover. Instead of trying to give exhaustive definitions, we have provided short ones that give the newcomer sufficient background without overwhelming them, which is why most entries are only 75-150 words. In addition, rather than using more words to explain terms that appear elsewhere in the dictionary, we have used an asterisk to indicate each term that has an entry of its own, and we encourage readers to refer to those entries for further information and clarification.

We also invite the adventurous reader to use the extended bibliography provided at the end of this book. There we have offered suggestions for general introductions to the Reformed tradition, and we have also recommended samples of classic works from the early sixteenth century to our own day. These are meant to give a sense of the breadth and depth of the tradition. In this way the student can not only begin to read about the tradition but also explore the heart of the tradition through key primary sources. We hope this dictionary will help to facilitate this more intensive reading.

About the Author(s)

Kelly M. Kapic is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He earned a Ph.D. in systematic and historical theology at King's College, University of London (United Kingdom) and an M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.

Wesley Vander Lugt (Ph.D., St. Andrews University) is lead pastor of Warehouse 242 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He earned an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary, a B.A. in history from Covenant College, and has been actively involved in Christian ministry for eight years in Scotland, Mexico and the United States.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 347.625 KB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running latest version of iOS. Download size: 347.625 KB. Android Requires Android OS 4.0 or later. Download size: 347.625 KB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 347.625 KB. Windows Store Download size: 347.625 KB. Windows Desktop Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 or later. Download size: 1.875 MB. Mac OS X Requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later. Download size: 347.625 KB.

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Copyright © 2010-2019 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Laridian and PocketBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, MyBible, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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The Fine Print

Copyright © 2010-2019 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Laridian, PocketBible, and MyBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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