from Ligonier Ministries
In the early fifth century, a theological controversy occurred that would forever shape the thinking of the church. In his Confessions, Augustine of Hippo wrote in the form of a prayer the words, “Give what Thou commandest and command what Thou will.” The British monk Pelagius was upset by these words, believing that they would give Christians an excuse for not obeying God. Pelagius believed that if God commanded something, man was naturally (apart from grace) able to do it. He believed that this was possible because he also believed that Adam’s sin had only affected Adam. All human beings are born in the same state in which Adam was born, capable of either obeying God or disobeying Him. If they obey, their good works merit salvation. If not, they deserve God’s punishment.
We will be hosting a home bible study on the topic, “What is Reformed Theology?” based on and featuring the video teaching series of Dr. R.C. Sproul. Join us on Facebook or subscribe to our Email Updates to receive more details on the date and time.
You’ve heard of Reformed theology, but you’re not certain what it is. Some references to it have been positive, some negative. It appears to be important, and you’d like to know more about it. And you want a full explanation, not a simplistic one.
Few evangelical Christians today understand Reformed theology. They know it has something to do with predestination, and they may have heard of “the five points.” But they can’t name these points, and they think no one believes most of them anymore. Dr. R.C.Sproul says there’s more to Reformed theology than these five points. Reformed theology reveals just how awesome the grace of God is.
The roots of evangelical Christianity are found in the soil of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation, which brought a return of true biblical theology to the world. In this series, Dr. Sproul offers an introduction to Reformed theology, the heart of historical evangelicalism. C.H. Spurgeon once said that Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.
What is Reformation Day? It is the day the light of the gospel broke forth out of darkness. It was the day that began the Protestant Reformation. It was a day that led to Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and may other Reformers helping the church find its way back to God’s Word as the only authority for faith and life and leading the church back to the glorious doctrines of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It kindled the fires of missionary endeavors, it led to hymn writing and congregational singing, and it led to the centrality of the sermon and preaching for the people of God. It is the celebration of a theological, ecclesiastical, and cultural transformation.
So we celebrate Reformation Day. This day reminds us to be thankful for our past and to the Monk turned Reformer. What’s more, this day reminds us of our duty, our obligation, to keep the light of the gospel at the center of all we do.
from Tabletalk Magazine
Semper reformanda has been hijacked. It is one of the more abused, misused, and misunderstood slogans of our day. Progressives have captured and mutilated the seventeenth-century motto and have demanded that our theology, our churches, and our confessions be always changing in order to conform to our ever-changing culture. However, semper reformanda doesn’t mean what they think it means.
Semper reformanda doesn’t mean “always changing,” “always morphing,” or even “always reforming.” Rather, it means “always being reformed.” When it was first used, semper reformanda was part of the larger statement ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed and always being reformed). To make the statement more clear, the phrase secundum verbum Dei (according to the Word of God) was later added, making the statement “The church reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God.” It grew out of a pastoral concern that we as God’s people would always be reformed by God’s Word—that our theology would not be merely theoretical knowledge but that our theology would be known, loved, and practiced in all of life. Simply put, that our reformed theology according to God’s Word would be always reforming our lives.
On Friday, much of the culture will be focused on candy and things that go bump in the night. Protestants, however, have something far more significant to celebrate on October 31. Friday is Reformation day, which commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day, and how should we consider the events it commemorates?
At the time, few would have suspected that the sound of a hammer striking the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.
An heir of Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther is one of the most significant figures God has raised up since that time. This law student turned Augustinian monk became the center of a great controversy after his theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible over church tradition and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God.
Mike Corley and Pastor Scott Reiber comment on the document A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation, as well as other issues that may have influenced this stand by some leaders in the denomination, which some voices, even within the SBC itself, are calling Semi-Pelagian.
- A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation
- Erin Benzinger-A Summary of the Ongoing Conversation Surrounding the SBC Salvation Document (Christian Research Network)
- Dr. Albert Mohler-Southern Baptists and Salvation: It’s Time to Talk
- Dr. Tom Ascol-Response to “A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation,”
- Dr. R.C. Sproul-The Pelagian Captivity of the Church