Monday, October 13, 2014

The Scope of Reformational Thinking

"We need to find 21st Century answers to 1st century questions, not 19th century answers to 16th century questions."

N.T. Wright

As we Protestants anticipate Reformation Sunday next week, this is a very helpful caution.  

Please don't think I [or Wright] am discounting Church history or historical theology or the Protestant Reformation.  Most definitely not!  This is simply a pointed exhortation addressing a very specific tendency among tidy-minded Reformed types in the Church today.  This is our temptation.

Why did the Reformers do what they did?  
Because they were like the men of Issachar who understood their times and what Israel should do.  
They went back to Scripture alone and held loosely to historical precedence where they felt the two clashed.  

Today, our temptation is to regard Reformational Confessions as semi-inerrant.
We are in danger of quoting the Reformers instead of following their example; to honor the letter and disregard the spirit of the Reformation.

But rather, we ought always to go and learn what these words mean:  Semper Reformanda.