What is Reformed? Are we saying our belief is rooted in the sovereignty of God? That salvation is founded in election? Are we claiming to be linked by a common view of the sacraments or church government? A high view of Scripture? A mystical union? Are we Calvinist or Barthian, perhaps Moltmannian or a combination of all of the above? Or something different yet? Is the Reformed faith, as something that comes out of the 17th and 18th Centuries, forever locked into a system of beliefs and a vernacular shaped by the questions of those times? Is Reformed something static or is it something dynamic? There seems to be an inherent tension in a tradition that has “Scripture Alone” and “Ever Reforming in light of Scripture” as two of its great pillars.
All of the folks here are unabashedly Reformed, even as we struggle to provide what we hope will be a more robust picture of our tradition than what is often painted in the public arena. We are also deeply aware that as Christians we are part of a much wider and deeper tradition that extends back to the Patriarch Abraham and his call to be a blessing to the all of the families of the Earth. It extends outward so as to include Christians from around the world, from various places and times and a variety cultures with many distinct expressions of the Christian faith. As part of that larger family we believe all Christians are commissioned and privileged to invite all people to engage with the living Word of God revealed in the Hebrew and New Testament Scriptures and to experience the fellowship of community initiated by God’s Spirit.
So Reformed. What is it? That Reformed Blog is a group of friends old and new, who certainly do not agree on everything. But we value our tradition and we do seek to rediscover our Reformed roots and generously articulate what Reformed might mean in our time. Meanwhile, we find comfort and some cohesion in the timeless emphases the Reformed tradition offers on God’s sovereignty, on covenant, on the Reformation motto “Ad fontes” or back to the sources and a long Reformed tradition of critical engagement with all spheres of God’s world. These things lend themselves to a radical posture of trust in God’s redeeming and reconciling work, a high emphasis on participation in the covenant community that God initiates to be a blessing to all, and to continuously going back to scripture and our tradition while also engaging with the voices of the church at all times and all places and with our present culture. Or as one motto of the Protestant Reformation simply put it: Reformed and Always Reforming.