For many Christians around the globe the Reformation may never have seemed quite as remote as it might seem today but never has it been more needed and relevant. At the moment the Reformation was inaugurated, the Scripture had been displaced by ecclesiastical authority, tradition, and subjective (mystical) experience. Fear of Christ as judge and devotion to saints and to the blessed virgin as intercessors had pushed Christ the Mediator to the margins of churchly and popular piety. The gospel message of free salvation by divine favor alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, had become obscured. In its desire to produce sanctification, the church turned grace into works. Ironically, despite the emphasis on the necessity of holiness for acceptance with God (justification), holiness in the church had reached a low-point. Church councils complained bitterly about the degree of impiety that scandalized the church but no one seemed to know what to do.
Of course, this litany of complaints might have come from any website covering the late-modern Christian world. These very same characteristics mark the Christianity of our age. The mainline churches have fallen into skepticism and mock those who still believe the historic Christian confessions. Rome still sells indulgences but health and wealth preachers sell favor with God in a way that would make Tetzel blush. Pastors and teachers report that we are apparently descending into a period of ignorance of Scripture. Public scandals rock evangelical Christianity. Impiety seems rampant. The gospel seems hard to find and confusion over basic Christian doctrines seems to reign.
There is hope. Christ is still Lord. Salvation is still free. The Bible is still God’s holy Word. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Christ’s church. There are places committed to the Scriptures as the sole, final, authoritative, true, and inerrant revelation of God’s holy law and gospel. There are places where men are still being educated to become faithful ministers of the Word and the sacraments. There are places where the Reformation banner is still cherished, where it is more than a historical relic in glass case. The Reformation is not over.
Now is the time to plan to attend the 2017 faculty conference, Is the Reformation Over?, featuring (in order):
- W. Robert Godfrey—The Gospel Recovered
- R. Scott Clark—The Bible Restored
- J. V. Fesko—The Church Reformed
- Mike Horton—The Gospel Recast
- Julius Kim—The Church Reduced
- Joel Kim—The Bible Relativized
When and where: January 13-14, 2017, on the campus of Westminster Seminary California.
Here is the registration info.
Excellent! Looks like a great conference with a stellar cast of speakers!
I was wondering if this conference will be streamed live? I would love to watch it live with our congregation!
Yes, they usually do.
Great! I will have to find more info on this so I can set something up.
Here is last year’s livestream page.