Always Reforming?

03.04.21 | Coffee Stained Notebook | by John Jones

Always Reforming?

    I always appreciate the writing ministry of Kevin DeYoung of Christ Covenant ChurchIn case you missed the Feb. 22 issue of ByFaith Magazine, he considers the question, Should the Church Really Be Always Reforming?”  

    The question stems from a Dutch devotional book that virtually nobody today has read (I certainly have not). Bob Godfrey over at Ligonier gives us (and me) some needed historical contextTaken from this book is a phrase that has become very popular: ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda, which means “the church reformed, always reforming.”One reason the motto gets repeated a lot because it seems to provide traction to the notion that the church ought to swing wide the door to innovation and strategy and, fill-in-the-blank. Kevin warns that “change is not always good, and drifting with the winds of the world is always bad.” 

    Another reason the phrase gets repeated a lot is because so many great theologians agree that the motto is a good one. I assume they have actually read the book by Jodocus van LodensteinIf this is the case, how then should we understand the phrase? That’s what Kevin DeYoung answers. He begins by reminding us that the quote, in its entirety, is actually: “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbi Dei, meaning, “the church is Reformed and always [in need of] being reformed according to the Word of God.” 

    Kevin DeYoung believes this puts our innovation and strategy in Scriptural context. Read, “Should the Church Really Be Always Reforming?”  

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