Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dangers in being Reformed

I've come to realize that there are some dangers in being "Reformed," and that these dangers are quite widespread. One pitfall can be found in the term "Reformed" itself. The word is in the past tense. It also indicates completion. And quite a few Reformed folk act that way, me included of course.

You see, this is the attitude that says, "all doctrine that we ever need to know was already figured out by a bunch of 400 year old dead guys. Oh, and we've arrived." We can be stuck in the past with blinders on as to the present... and to the future as well. Of course, everything and everybody can be judged in black and white by that completed knowledge. We wrench the Protestant Reformation, and its reactionary doctrines (they're not necessarily a bad thing), out of its medieval context and apply it equally to all times and all cultures. Not Reformed? Well, then, you're a suspect.

It seems that of all the doctrines "recovered", revealed or invented during the Reformation, the doctrine of semper reformanda, that is, "always reforming", is one of the most neglected in today's Reformed church. The Reformers themselves were humble enough (in this area at least) to realize that they didn't have the final word on everything. To think that they had reached finality in doctrine would have been to become as the very Rome they protested against.

The church needs to move forward in its doctrine and practice. To fail in this is like wrapping your talent in a hankercheif and burying it in the ground. And we all know what Jesus had to say about that.

1 comment:

  1. Amen my fellow Guiness-loving brother! Studying history without a vision to the present or the future is indeed a vain practice which will only serve to puff us up.

    You may be interested in checking out my blog sometime: "Cavinists Craving Catholicity", at

    Many blessings,
    Jon B.