Thursday, July 9, 2009

NOT REFORMED, BUT BIBLICAL????

In my last post, I mentioned a conversation that I had with a fellow Minister in Chicago yesterday. And, within an hour and a half of conversation, we discussed several topics (one being the basis of the article below). But perhaps the most interesting part of our conversation dealt with the need--if any--of Reformed Theology in the church today.

In one of his comments, he mentioned, "that a church does not need to be Reformed, but it can be Biblical". Now, being a Reformed believer and knowing wholeheartedly that Reformed Theology is Biblical Theology, one has to wonder how such a claim can be made?

For instance, if Reformed Theology teaches that God elects men to salvation before the foundation of the world, and Scripture teaches the same (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), and any other system teaches the opposite--that would make that system unbiblical right? If Reformed Theology teaches that Christ's death was for a particular people, and the Scriptures support that claim (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11) , then wouldn't another system of belief be unbiblical? Finally (because I can go on forever with this), if Reformed Theology teaches that God is Sovereign and the Scriptures do as well (Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:32), then wouldn't anything else be unbiblical?

Now obviously, I may come off as biased here, but I truly believe that Reformed Theology is THE theology of the Bible, and I have the Scriptures and church history to prove it. So, for someone to believe that there are alternate truths out there that can conflict with the theology and still be right, is erroneous, or--dare I say--unbiblical!!!!!!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Decided to leave a comment since I am sure that I am the minister in question. I still affirm the statement that is is possible to be biblical but not reformed. You mentioned that church history supports a reformed reading of scripture, only if you date church history back 500 yrs. Even if you were to argue that reformed theology began in its germinal form with Augustine and his polemic against Pelagius (a dubious contention at best) there still lives roughly 500 years of church history unaccounted. A history where there were strands of theologies floating about that somehow found wrapped into the fabric and identity of the nascent church. Yet the early church knew enough to only regard as unbiblical only those theologies that threatened the fundamental teachings of scripture (by weighing them against what Iranaeus called "Rule of Faith")
Your claim is also that reformed theology best reflects biblical teaching and therefore is consistent with the rule of faith. Quickly, you say this is what the bible teaches ultimately reducing the bible to a series of either or propositions (either your Reformed or wrong, believe that God elects men to salvation before the foundations of the world or a heretic, ad infinitum). I believe, however, that the bible is best read in tension where it can sustain the weight of numerous interpretations and all of them have kernels of truth and be biblical. For you to claim that only one view is biblical is to blatantly disregard the Spirit and his work in the lives of others who think differently than you do. I also believe based on our former conversation that your presuppositions mar your ability to read the ability to read the bible. You read theologically rather than exegetically (see N T Wright's claims against Piper). I do believe that part of the work of exegesis is to form theological constructs, but these constructs are formed after reading the bible historically and grammatically. To many in the reformed tradition read scripture theologically thinking that the bible a priori supports there views without doing the work of solid exegesis. When solid exegesis is done, i think what you find is that certain text do support reformed theology but that the bible isn't a tome expounding the virtues of a reformed view. Catholics can find support for there theology within the pages of the bible, charismatics can find support for what they believe, Arminians can find support for their views. Therefore it is possible to be biblical and not reformed.

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Diane said...
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