Thursday, April 22, 2010
Horton on the difference between a movement and a church
Dr. Michael Horton has a great post that speaks of the difference between a movement and a church. I particularly appreciated the way he addressed the recent trend for people who are broadly evangelical calling themselves "Reformed". Read his entire post here.
Here's a helpful quote from his post:
"Reformed” has a specific meaning. It’s not defined by movements, parachurch ministries, or powerful leaders, but by a confession that is lived out in concrete contexts across a variety of times and places. The Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort) define what it means to be Reformed. Like Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Anabaptism, Reformed Christianity is a particular tradition. It’s not defined by a few fundamentals, but by a whole system of faith and practice. If being Reformed can be reduced to believing in the sovereignty of God and election, then Thomas Aquinas is as Reformed as R. C. Sproul. However, the Reformed confession is a lot more than that. Even the way it talks about these doctrines is framed within a wider context of covenant theology.
It’s intriguing to me that people can call themselves Reformed today when they don’t embrace this covenant theology. This goes to the heart of how we read the Bible, not just a few doctrines here or there.