Emerging Church Submerging the Reformation?

Earlier today, Jim Bublitz at OldTruth.com took on my Reformation Sunday post and suggested that the emerging church movement, myself included, are trying to rewrite the history of the Reformation. His post called The Emerging Submerging of the Reformation has turned into an emerging church bash which I had to show my wife. She shook her head. I responded with a paper that is too long to post. Actually, I got to use the new “pages” feature of this blog which is cool. Anyway, have a read if you want.

My paper is called A Response to Jim Bublitz: Emerging Submerging of the Reformation?

Read on for a few thoughts on the Reformation that I quoted in my paper to back up my thoughts. I have turned the comments off here because I would rather you comment on the actual paper,

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“When churchmen spoke of reformation, they were almost always thinking of administrative, legal, or moral reformation; hardly ever of doctrinal reformation. They did not suppose the Pope’s doctrine to be erroneous. . . They not only wanted popes and bishops to be less secularized, monks to practise their rule, parish clergy to be more instructed. They sometimes talked of a theology which should be less remote from human beings, more faithful to the gospel, a faith that should be less external and more akin to the teaching of the Lord. But to gain this end they had neither desire nor expectation or anything which could be called a change in doctrine”

The Reformation, Owen Chadwick, page 13-14.]

“Schism and disruption followed in the wake of the Reformation and the process has multiplied the number of autonomous units in non-Roman Christianity. Critical observers of this trend have often drawn the conclusion that Protestantism has at its heart a divisive principle by which it is irresistibly driven to complete disintegration. Many Protestants have acquiesced in this view, justifying it on the grounds of an unqualified religious individualism, which, with more rhetoric than research, they have professed to derive from the teaching of the Reformers. On the other hand, those who have really studied Reformation sources have found in them a consistent affirmation of the reality of the one Holy Catholic Church and a clear avowal of the principle of ecumenical unity.

. . . This revival of ecumenical concern accords with the spirit of the Reformers. They sought the renovation, not the disruption, of the Church, and hoped for its reunion. They unhesitatingly accepted the ecumenical creeds . . . ”

A History of the Ecumenical Movement 1517-1948, page 29-30, edited by Ruth Rouse and Stephen Neill]


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

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