Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reformed?

What is Reformed? Sometimes it's those delicious but suspicious crisps made from reformed potato. In some circles it's a moniker for stuffy worship (and perhaps a touch of legalism). For others it designates that they believe the Bible and can spell Tulip (although they might never have been to Holland or read any Bavinck). Now, I don't think any of these is right - except the potatoes. But what does it matter what I think? What does the New Dictionary of Theology tell me? After all, it is edited by Packer and Sinclair P...

REFORMED THEOLOGY The classic representative statements of Reformed theology are found in the catechisms and confessions of the Reformed Churches; e.g. the French Confession (1559), the Scots Confession (1560), the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Second Helvetic Confession (1566), the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England (1562, 1571), the Canons of the Synod of Dort (1619), the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms (1647) and the Formula Consensus Helveticus (1675). NDT, S. 569

The article goes on to say that reducing Reformed Theology to Tulips is to lose sight of the panoramic grandeur of the Reformed view of church and cosmos. Nice! So, if you're Reformed you believe stuff that invigorates you. Pow! Expansive! Not stuffy, not legalistic and so much more than the annoying Tulip. It seems that for some their Reformed tag only means soteriology (and a limited part of that). But, that's like thinking Radiohead only released OK Computer; great, but there's so much more! It's interesting that in NDT Reformed Churches are those holding to the confessions listed. Well, it's interesting to me anyway - I used to be (or at least used to call myself) a Reformed Baptist. Now, I'm a Presbyterian. 'Labels, labels, labels!!', I hear you cry in despair. Ah yes, but when you eat your crisps it does matter whether its reformed potato or real potatoes, doesn't it?