The series continues. Last summer, I asked a series of questions, "What has [fill in the blank] tradition gifted the larger Church?" The one rule was the answers had to be edifying, which twitter people are (mostly). You can find the results of this twitter series on my blog or using the hashtag, #GiftingTheChurch (thanks for the idea Pastor Daniel).
Although I had a vague understanding of the presbyterian denomination; there was a church in my hometown and I briefly attended an EPC while living in St. Louis, I hadn't heard of the reformed churches until I moved to western Michigan. Furthermore, there are big differences between the Reformers (ie. Lutheran, Zwingli, Calvin) and the Reformed tradition's Calvinism as we know it today. You'll see that some of the answers might point more to the Reformation than the Reformed tradition. Confused yet?
Day Seven - Reformed
- Recognizing and state the Five Solas.
- The "Counter Reformation" it ignited in the Roman Catholic church continuing to Vatican 2. Also, an "anchor" to tether to while we are blown around by "every wind of doctrine".
- I always appreciate movements that challenged the status quo. The gift to challenge authority.
- That God is in charge. Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8.
- Profound and proper emphasis on the attributes and character of God. Especially his Holiness. Reflected both in doctrine, culture, and worship.
- Emphasis on faith.
- The Bible in the language of the people.
- A robust understanding of sin and a big God.
- And a commitment to deep theological study. A college mentor once told me, and not out of denominational loyalty,
- I see a holistic approach to faith. Yes, an emphasis on Scripture but also development of intellect and encouragement to put faith into action. I like Kuyper’s quote:
There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ...does not cry ‘Mine!’”
- That in Evangelism, the outcome is not in our hands. We cannot talk or argue people into the kingdom. All we can do is preach the Gospel and let God work in their hearts.
- Fresh appreciation of the absolute sovereignty of God.
- Recognition of the depths of his grace.
- A love for the study of the word and theology.
- Theological frameworks.
- Accountability that the Presbyterian side of the Reformed faith has-for pastors, congregants, and churches. It's still imperfect, but does perfect against much abuse of power.
- Sitting with things analytically until they make sense.
- A robust doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
- Good liturgy.
- The groundwork for modern study of patristics.
- Calvin University (higher learning institutions).
- One of the most important needs to unlock the true potential of reformed theology is to see theology in light of how it is lived. No gap between head and heart. When this happens to a reformed thinker, their lives catch fire!
- Diversity of expression. Like, a lot of church branches form out of conflict of some kind, but what lasts in the end is different church cultures and expressions.
- I think the best is the idea that we are reformed and always reforming. While Jesus (God) doesn't change, we do as does our world. We see God in a different light.
- Consolidated Protestant orthodoxy with strong confessional boundaries.
- One great final answer:
Well, there's New England.