Although the roots of this "system" of theology can be traced to the apostle Paul (and really to Christ), the modern history of Reformed Theology is typically associated with the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500's (thus the term "reformed"...get it). Those reformers were "protesting" (thus the term protestant) were looking to reform the Roman church on several different theological fronts. Their cry for reform can be summed up as follows : Faith alone, Christ alone, Grace alone, Scripture alone, and Glory to God alone (often referred to as The Five Solas).
Simply put, sinners are justified before God by imputed faith alone, not by works or infused faith. That faith that they show is in Christ alone, not the church, the pope, baptism, or any program. This does not occur because we merit any of God's kindness by our own deeds. It is all God's doing as He draws (or drags!) us to Himself by His grace. Our faith and belief system is based on scripture alone, not on the words of men, modern day prophecies, or the doctrines of the church, but solely on the inspired word of God. Lastly, all that we have and all that we do, as well as when and how we are saved is not for our own pleasure or reward. Ultimately, even our salvation is not for us, but to bring glory to God alone.
This is where most people freak out ("Hey Fletch, what gives? This sounds an awful lot like Calvinism?"). To which I respond : "Calvinism - gasp!" Yes, this is remarkably similar to Calvinism. Afterall, Calvin was in fact one of the Protestant Reformers. Calvinism is the name given to this system of theology or more specifically soteriology (defined as: how we are saved) that puts God at the center and man on the outside. Since man is radically corrupt and dead in his sins, he requires God to save him.
Let me make this as simple as possible: This salvation is planned by God, initiated by God, carried out by God, and eternally secured by God.
Quietly making noise,