How We Ought to Define the Reformation

Carl Trueman defines the Reformation like this:

The Reformation represents a move to place God as He has revealed Himself in Christ at the centre of the Church’s life and thought. (Reformation, Carl Trueman, page 17)

He also says this in the same lecture later:

When one surveys the mass of books printed, sermons preached, commentaries and pamphlets written during the Reformation, it is quite clear that it was a movement of words – written words, printed words, and spoken words.  No, it was above all a movement of the Word – incarnate in Christ and written down in the Scriptures. (Reformation, Carl Trueman, page 71)

I find this definition of the Reformation to be the best one I’ve read or heard.  Because it defines a historical movement in terms which makes its application and relevance toward other historical times smoother and easier.  If we define the Reformation as a time when “God changed the world through Luther and Calvin” we will rarely apply its principles to our time and rarely learn from the reformers what they intend us to – namely, to continue reforming as they did.  How did they do this?  They were used of God to bring the center back to where the center should be – God revealed through Christ.  And they did this through the Word.

Now the question comes, how can we do this today?  In our churches and in our hearts what can we do to center back upon God in Christ?  Everything in our hearts, and everything in our churches should serve the purpose of the Word.  The answer to this question should shake some things up, re-orient to proper direction, and soak the soul in God Himself.

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