"What is Reformed Theology?"
One of my pastor friends was asked to write an internet article with this question. He queried his friends, soliciting their ideas…
The responses fell into two main categories: The first was to emphasize the priority of believing in the doctrines of Scripture! (Response: What Christian group doesn't say this about themselves? In fact, most non-Reformed groups claim that the Bible is their main authority!)
The second set of answers were the "finely-tuned" Creedal, Confessional, Covenantal, and Calvinistic answers. (Response: There are a variety of groups that do NOT hold to every point listed, but still consider themselves "Reformed.") How do we bring unity to this discord?
Following the flow of history can help define and distinguish our uniqueness. Our history begins with the fountain of the Old Testament people. The promised Messiah arrives and revitalizes this stream! The Apostles help to navigate "The Way" that demonstrates the fullness of all of God's promises to His people are now fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ! A new "dispensation" has flooded history with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! From here, we learn to embrace the early creeds of the church instituted by the Church Fathers who further clarify how to avoid theological rapids.
In the late-medieval period, an Augustinian Roman Catholic monk broke a dam hindering people from understanding the Bible, salvation, and the worship of God. Soon after, men like John Calvin, Zacharius Ursinus, John Knox, and the Westminster Divines heralded the value of affirming God's sovereignty over history, over our theology, and over the establishment of Christ's Church in the world. This entire stream courses to a final destination where God's eternal glory and our complete and joyful satisfaction rests!
So, being a part of a Reformed church is to acknowledge the borders and boundaries of that river that flows through history as God decrees. At times, this river crashes against troubling obstacles; but for those wishing to complete the course charted out for the Church, we would do well to remember both the "old ways" already navigated, and also adjust our bearings according to the compass of God's holy word and Spirit. This boat is bound for glory… Get in!
To read the official post from my pastor friend discussing Reformed Theology, link here:
To hear short reflections about one aspect of Reformed Theology at a recent "Reformation Service," link here:
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