“I believe that there is upon the earth a holy congregation and communion of pure saints ruled under one Head, Christ, called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, in the same mind and understanding, furnished with multiple gifts yet one in love and in all respects harmonious, without sects or schisms.”
Martin Luther, on The Apostle’s Creed, Luther’s Large Catechism.
Yesterday was Reformation Sunday but it slipped my mind. OOPS!!! But I am on target for Reformation Day which is October 31st. Last year, you remember, I looked at Reformation Day from a Scottish perspective.
I was trained for the ministry in a reformed Bible College. My understanding of the Reformation was quite very biased and I understood the Reformation in terms of ecclesiastical and theological separation from the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church (Babylon the Great). After some thought and research, I have a somewhat different view and yet I am equally committed to the historical Reformation as well as the ongoing reformation of the church today. Here are some thoughts on the Reformation:
1. The Reformers were committed to an ecumenical consensus of unity. They wanted to reform the whole church, not just one break-away segment that became the Protestant Movement. Sectarianism was not the intention.
2. If there is a Babylon the Great today, it is not the Roman Catholic Church. It is probably something closer and dearer to us.
3. If USA and England had as many Czech immigrants as they did German, history would probably show that the Reformation started much earlier and its geographic center was a few hundred miles eastwards of where we currently believe it to be. YES – I am talking about Jan Hus.
4. The Reformation was initiated NOT because of doctrinal purity, as commonly taught, but because of corruption in the use of power and wealth. Doctrinal reform was a bonus, but not the primary motivation.
5. There is reform in the church today because there is corruption in the church today. God still cares about his church. So should we. The way we play with ecclesiastic power and the way we spend the Bride’s finances should concern us all, not just our commitment to a common creed.
6. The emerging church might well be a protest (Don Carson) but it might also be a corrective measure to the excesses and imbalances of the reformation and the Enlightenment.
Let the Reformation continue.
Others: Reformed Trombonist and check out Campi who is always seasonal this time of year, even if he comes from a different angle than me.
TSK: Emerging Church in Modern Reformation, Our Post-Reformation Christmas, A Little Scottish Oats with your Bratwurst? Reformation Unfiltered, Scot McKnight at Westminster.
UPDATE: Jim Bublitz challenged this post and so I wrote a response to him here. It has more background info for this post and it deals with his objections.
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