Theological Musings - Another Reformation? This past week I was in a workshop at a ministries conference when the workshop leader, a respected seminary professor, made the statement that the Evangelical church may very well be on the brink of another reformation. The context of this statement was his presentation on Post-Modernity and the Emerging Church movement.
He did not say that the Evangelical church may very well be on the brink of returning to the reformation of the 1500's. Nor did he say the Emerging church movement was possibly the forefront of a possible reformation. He did say that continuing to approach theology as we have done in the Enlightenment context of the Reformation would prove to be insufficient for dealing with the Post-modern world. He was very specific by what he meant in that statement. The Puritan approach to theology was adequate for it's day, but would prove inadequate in dealing with the Post-modern world, and he knew he would make enemies making that statement. (Please note that the Professor did not say the Puritan approach to theology was totally useless; a critical distinction.)
Are we on the verge of another reformation? I don't presume to know, but I know theological thought in the Evangelical churches has not been static over the last 50 or more years. Nor has all of that relatively more recent theological development been of a negative nature, but on the contrary some of it has been very positive.
What does it profit if I have all knowledge and have not love? Is doctrine the central focus of the local Christian church, or is that central focus Jesus Christ? Is community the central focus of a local Christian church, or is that central focus Jesus Christ? Both doctrine and community are important, but it is the person of Jesus Christ Himself that is to be supreme in any church's life and ministry.
Over the last 500 years since the last reformation, we in our different rooms in the Evangelical church have done quite well at defining our differences with one-another. Perhaps if there is another reformation, it will be marked by how we define those things we hold in common. In any event, that which will bring another reformation is the same thing that brought about the first reformation, the making of Jesus Christ central and supreme above all else.
Sola Deo Gloria,
~ The Billy Goat ~