Difference Between Lutheranism and Calvinism

Region and belief are one of the most sensitive topics all over the world. There are different religions people follow all over the globe one such religion being Christianity.

It is the world’s biggest religion with almost 2.2 billion followers. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity further according to human understanding and belief has been divided into several theologies.

Two such theologies are lutheranism and calvinism

Lutheranism vs Calvinism

The main difference between lutheranism and calvinism is that the theology put forward by German monk and old theologian Martin Luther believe in lutheranism, it was also initiated by him. Whereas the theology influenced by the teaching of John Calvin believe in calvinism. It is a church or denomination within a fold.

Lutheranism vs Calvinism

In lutheranism, they believe in the “salvation by god”. They believe that anyone can attain salvation regardless of him having faith or belief in Jesus.

On the other hand in calvinism, they believe that God has already chosen whom he wants to give salvation and nothing else is going to make a change in it.

Comparison Table  Between Lutheranism and Calvinism

Parameter of ComparisonLutheranismCalvinism
FollowerFollower of theologian Martin LutherFollower of John Calvin
SalvationSalvation can be archived through faithGod already knows whom he wants to save
Head of ChurchThe head of the church is the elected councilHead of the church is a council of elders
Worship ServiceSources of preaching’s and ritualsOnly believe in preaching
Ultimate SourceThey consider the bible as their holy grailThey believe that one can have a direct connection with god.

What is Lutheranism?

Lutheranism is one of the many branches of Christianity. The teachings of a German monk and theologian Martin Luther is practiced here.

In lutheranism, they believe that the reason for Jesus to sacrifice his life on the cross was for the forgiveness of all the sins that the people have committed.

It is believed that the sacrifice made was for all the followers who have faith and belief in Jesus and also for the people who do not have faith and belief in him.

Lutheranism states that salvation is independent of someone’s merit and worthiness. They believe that all human beings are like sinners and what keeps them in bondage to their evil powers is their ‘original sin’ making them unable to aid liberation.

It is believed by them that the keyway to answer to god is by having faith in him. They believe in “salvation by faith alone”.

Lutheranism is further divided based on two points which are the proper source of authority in the church which is also known as the formal principle of reformation and the doctrine of justification also known as the material principle of lutheranism.

Lutheranism differs from regular reformed theology in Christology and the purpose of god’s law.

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What is Calvinism?

Calvinism is referred to as a reformed theology or ‘reformed protestantism’. It contains the entire doctrine that I taught by the reformed churches.

This theology was developed by the thoughts of John Calvin and further reformed by his followers. The theology of Calvinism states that the sacrifice made by Jesus at the cross was limited.

According to them, death was only for the sins of a few chosen ones and not all.

Calvinism elaborated on the Bible’s literal truth and consider churches as a Christian community headed by Jesus Christ with all the members under him as equal.

Calvinism is highly influenced by the presbyterian church in Scotland. The reformed tradition is highly influenced by continental reformed, presbyterian, evangelical Anglican, Congregationalist, and reformed Baptist denominational families.

In Calvinism, it is believed that God’s self-revelation is always via his son Jesus Christ, as he is the only medium between God and people.

These revelations come via two basic channels mainly-creation and providence. The action of God lets people know about god himself but this knowledge is only sufficient to more people realizing their mistakes and sins.

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Main Difference Between Lutheranism and Calvinism

  1. The followers of a German monk and theologian Martin Luther practice lutheranism whereas the followers of sir john Calvin practice calvinism.
  2. Those who practice lutheranism believe that salvation can be achieved through faith whereas those who practice calvinism believe God has already decided whom he wants to save.
  3. The head of the church in lutheranism is the elected council whereas in the case of the calvinism the head of the church is the council of elders.
  4. Lutheranism believes in preaching and rituals whereas in calvinism they believe only in preaching.
  5. In lutheranism, the bible is considered as the holy grail whereas in calvinism they believe that one can have a direct connection with god.
Difference Between Lutheranism and Calvinism


Christianity is one of the largest followed religions in the world with more than 2.2billoin followers. Christianity is further divided into several denominations based on belief and knowledge.

Two such beliefs are lutheranism and calvinism. They are two very different aspects to look at Christianity and can be widely classified based on follower, salvation, head of church worship service, and ultimate source.

Lutheranism is the theology that is mainly on the belief and knowledge of Martin Luther.

In lutheranism they believe that Jesus died on the cross for all, he sacrificed his life for the sins of the people that they have committed it was for the follower as well as the people who did not follow him.

Calvinism is the theology mainly on the ideas of Sir John Calvin. However, in calvinism, they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for few, only the chosen ones.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=JWoSDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=lutheranism&ots=KROll2XyWM&sig=Ru1nyL4pjJ2CNyAYAx2xtGj_ZkY
  2. https://ojs.lib.uom.gr/index.php/BalkanStudies/article/viewFile/80/89
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-OMa70AxqvAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=calvinism&ots=0RRHPnrqeS&sig=27EhLUc-kh3htG8iI84KbW0ySuY
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