“There is a renewal of interest in the Reformed faith from people who have grown weary of the subjectivity of the broad evangelical faith,” said Pastor Stephen Donovan. “In the first 45 years of our church’s existence [Escondido United Reformed Church], we attempted to plant a handful of churches. But of all these churches that were started, only one survived.” Donovan said in the past five years, their church has helped start two successful churches. “For [a Reformed church] this is radical.” The Reformed tradition may be best known by the name Calvinism. A central belief of Calvinism is that salvation is based on God’s choice and an individual’s faith is a gift from God. “People’s faces light up in response to the [doctrine] of the Reformed faith. They say, ‘you mean to tell me it’s not what I’ve done but it’s what Christ has done that saves me?’,” said Pastor Phil Vos. Pastor Vos said there is no other faith like that of the Reformed tradition. “Other faiths all seem to have a works-based righteousness in them. Heretical movements like Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons are all works-based.” Vos said works-based faith can be found in many evangelical churches. Vos said the response Reformed Christians should have is a life of obedience based on gratitude.
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