|Reformed theology was formally born in the early 16th century, although its roots go back to Augustine (345-430). The Reformed understanding of the Bible's teaching has been summarized in various confession statements, one of which is the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646). This Confession is the enduring fruit of the solemn Assembly of some 100 leading Puritan divines, convened at Westminster Abbey in London from July 1, 1643 through to Feb.,1649.
Reformed theology holds to the five points of Calvinism, which are easily remembered through an accrostic, TULIP. The letters stand for: Total Depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irrestistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints. These doctrines were re-emphasized and taught anew by men like John Calvin at the time of the Reformation.
Reformed theology emphasizes God rather than being man centered. God chose us rather than we chose God. Only those chosen by God will come to him and those who come to him he will not cast out. Unconditional election, the "U" in TULIP, means that there is nothing within us that moved Him to elect us. His choice of election was based on His good pleasure and wisdom and not on anything good or bad in us. Historically, the Five Points of Calvinism have been held by the Presbyterian and Reformed churches and by many Baptists.
Reformed and Presbyterian Worship has been historically characterized as reverential and confessional. The reformed worshipper comes to worship the Father through the mediation of His Son Jesus Christ. As the worshipper approaches the Father he is keenly aware of the distinction between God and Man, between His perfect will and our sinfulness. That causes the worshipper to have a sense of awe when contemplating the majesty of God and results in a sober sense of reverence in His presence. In terms of being confessional, the believer comes before God confessing his lack of perfection and great need of God's grace.
Reformed theology is not technical dry stuff. It recognises that we owe our lives to the grace of God. It recognises that God became man to save us. It recognises that Jesus died to save sinners. Just like you and me.