Lutheranism vs Calvinism: Difference and Comparison

Region and belief are one of the most sensitive topics worldwide. There are different religions people follow all over the globe, such as Christianity.


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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

Key Takeaways

  1. Lutheranism is a branch of Protestant Christianity founded by Martin Luther, emphasizing the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the authority of scripture; Calvinism is a Protestant movement founded by John Calvin, emphasizing predestination and the sovereignty of God.
  2. Lutherans believe in sacramental theology and reject the concept of predestination; Calvinists reject sacramental theology and adhere to the doctrine of predestination.
  3. Lutheranism is characterized by a liturgical style of worship and a more inclusive approach to church membership; Calvinism is characterized by a simpler style of worship and a more exclusive approach to church membership.

Lutheranism vs Calvinism

Lutherans believe in justification by faith alone, emphasizing the authority of the Bible and the sacraments of baptism and communion. Calvinism is based on the teachings of John Calvin, who believed in the sovereignty of God and the authority of the Bible, emphasizing personal piety.

Lutheranism vs Calvinism

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

On the other hand, Calvinism believes that God has already chosen whom he wants to give salvation, and nothing else will change it.

Comparison Table

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 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 the German monk and theologian Martin Luther are practiced here.

In Lutheranism, they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross 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 believed in Jesus and those who did not believe 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.

They believe the key way to answer god is by faith in him. They believe in “salvation by faith alone.”

Lutheranism is further divided based on two points: the proper source of authority in the church, 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.


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 and not all.

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

The presbyterian church highly influences Calvinism 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 for more people to realize their mistakes and sins.


Main Difference Between Lutheranism and Calvinism

  1. The followers of the 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 Calvinism, the head of the church is the council of elders.
  4. Lutheranism believes in preaching and rituals, whereas Calvinism believes only in preaching.
  5. In Lutheranism, the bible is considered the holy grail, whereas, in Calvinism, they believe one can directly connect with god.
Difference Between Lutheranism and Calvinism
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