There is a supposition among some that to be truly Reformed means that we repristinate and replicate the absolute history of the Reformed yesteryear. And often proponents of this belief use this as their cipher to critique what Myk Habets and I, in particular, are seeking to do with what we (stolen from T. F. Torrance) have labeled Evangelical Calvinism. But what all of these folk fail to realize, unlike Karl Barth, is that what it means to be Reformed (and even methodologically scholastic) is to ‘always be Reforming’ in subordination to the dictates of Scripture, and its reality Jesus Christ. Evangelical Calvinism is a resourcement movement, and mood of the Reformed Christian faith. We engage in theology of retrieval, and seek to constructively engage with the past in order to organically move forward into the future of what God has for us in Christ (which is Christ). If we are ‘growing’ (as Peter makes clear) in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and doing so until we all attain to the unity of the faith (as Paul makes clear in Ephesians 4); and if eternal life and our participation in that through the mediatorial humanity of Christ is indeed what entails ‘eternal life’, then to repristinate and absolutize one period of the Christian past will never do. Christian reading practices, and learning practices presuppose a movement towards and from someOne; Jesus Christ. And so becoming static in our Christian walk and theological endeavor just is not Christian. If God is Triune, lively, and dynamic; then our mode of liveliness as we participate from His kind of life in Christ will look similar. It is my contention as an Evangelical Calvinist then, that to be properly or genuinely Christian in theological mode finds its best corollary in theologies of retrieval, resourcement, and constructive engagement with the Christian heritage. I have written more about our method and mode of theological engagement in the post below:
“The world was made so that Christ might be born.”-David Fergusson
A Little Thomas Torrance
“God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ God has actualised his unconditional love for you in your human nature in such a once for all way, that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the Incarnation and the Cross and thereby denying himself. Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and utterly unworthy of him, and has thereby already made you his own before and apart from your ever believing in him. He has bound you to himself by his love in a way that he will never let you go, for even if you refuse him and damn yourself in hell his love will never cease. Therefore, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.” -T. F. Torrance, The Mediation of Christ, 94.
- A Riposte to Derek Rishmawy’s Post: Handling Legal Matters
- If You Want to Understand How Evangelical Calvinism Differs Interpretively From Classical Calvinism Read This
- Against Being ‘Curious’: In the Augustinian and Websterian Mood, A Pastoral Reflection and Exhortation
- Jean Gerson as a Paragon for Evangelical Calvinist Tendencies: What Hath Mystical Theology to do With Scholastic?
- A Reflection on the Word of God
“We must always keep in mind that the reason the Son of God came down from the hidden throne of the eternal Father and revealed heavenly doctrine was not to furnish material for seminary debates, in which the display of ingenuity might be the game, but rather so that human beings should be instructed concerning true knowledge of God and of all those things which are necessary to the pursuit of eternal salvation.” Martin Chemnitz, Loci theol. ed., 1590, Hypomnemata 9 cited by Barth, CD I/1, 82.
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