>In the previous post, I included a couple of paragraphs from a recent article by John Muether, “Calvin, American Calvinism, and the OPC.” In the post, I quote two paragraphs that are concerned with the recent and popular notion that to maintain the Reformed motto semper reformanda (always reforming), that the church must constantly be open to change. But is this what the phrase means?
In this month’s edition of Tabletalk, Michael Horton examines the orgin and true meaning of this misunderstood and misused motto. Here’s a snippet:
This perspective keeps us from making tradition infallible but equally from imbibing the radical Protestant obsession with starting from scratch in every generation. When God’s Word is the source of our life, our ultimate loyalty is not to the past as such or to the present and the future, but to “that Word above all earthly pow’rs,” to borrow from Luther’s famous hymn. Neither behind us nor ahead of us, but above us, reigns our sovereign Lord over His body in all times and places. When we invoke the whole phrase — “the church Reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God” — we confess that we belong to the church and not simply to ourselves and that this church is always created and renewed by the Word of God rather than by the spirit of the age.
The article is quite helpful so check it out here.
>Thankfully there appears to be a welcome transition away from the “Moral Majority” understanding of the Christian life that distinguishes between a gospel that is believed to make one a Christian and then an ethic that is lived out back to the Reformational understanding that the gospel is a message that shapes not only faith but all of life. In his most recent book, Micahel Horton seeks to reorient our faith and practice as Christians and churches toward the gospel. He writes in the Intoduction:
. . . the gospel creates the kind of community that is even now an imperfect preview of the kingdom’s marriage feast that awaits [the church]. The church is its own culture, not only with its distinct story and doctrine, but with its own “politics” and means. Consistent with the message that it proclaims, the church is receiving its life, identity, growth, and expansion from above rahter than creating these for itself and from its own resources, (p. 11, emphasis in original).
Horton has written this as a follow up to his book Christless Christianity, in which he “offered a prophetic wake-up call for a self-centered American church.” Now, with this newest book, Horton offers up his solutions and recommendations for a new reformation in the faith, practice, and witness of contemporary Christianity.
If you are looking for a book that will help you better understand how to live out the gospel and not just believe it, if you’re looking for more than a Twelve-Step approach to the Christian life, if you’re looking for more than a forty day program, if you’re looking for more than a Moral Majority political perspective of living the Christian life, then read this book.
For a limited time it is available here for $10.99 (45% off), so act fast.