About R. Scott Clark
R. Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association
, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books
and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. Read more»
He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.
What does CREC and TR mean?
CREC = Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, the ecclesiastical home of the Federal Vision and Doug Wilson.
TR = Truly Reformed, usually used derisively about those who believe and seek to practice the Reformed confession.
If a TR (Truly Reformed) person is angry, the first question we need to ask is, “Why are they angry?”
And the second question is, “Are they sinning in the way they express their anger?”
Was Martin Luther angry at Rome’s iniquities and false teaching? You bet.
I’m sure ditto could be said for other well-know TR’ers back in the Reformation era. And also now.
Do TR’ers sin in the way they express anger at the false teachers? Maybe on occasion some of them say things that they’d later want to apologise and seek forgiveness for. But by and large, in my observation, TR’ers tend to make the opposite error: too many of them don’t speak up against the false teachers, and when they do speak up they do so too mildly.
I’m thankful for all TR’ers who get appropriately angry at false teaching and false teachers. If we didn’t have them, the slide back to Rome would be happening much quicker.
I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time, in the sense that it is OK to observe behavioral tendencies in a certain group (whether Christian or non-Christian) while not writing off the group as hopelessly fated to act that way at all times.
Additionally, without question God has used great men of God who – frankly – I probably wouldn’t like very much. In reading in Philip Schaff’s history volumes about how irenically and deferentially Calvin and Zwingli spoke of Luther, who really and truly acted like a jerk many times, it is to their great credit as brothers in Christ that they focus on how he was unquestionably used of God.
So even if I agreed with the tweet (I don’t have enough knowledge to agree or disagree), God can use vessels as he chooses.
Finally, if TR folks found that this critique resonated with them, then obviously introspection wouldn’t hurt. Do they tend toward anger or pharisaical behavior? If so, it’s worth seeing where that might be stemming from organizationally if it’s systemic.
I’d rather the CREC’ers stay whey they are, and those who aren’t there that should be, please PLEASE go there. You’ll be happy . You’ll find yourself an easy road to Rome and you won’t have to be offended by our awful demands to remain Reformed
How nice to be Reformed, and to know that to be Reformed is the correct attitude. Being of a reformed persuasion, very conservative reformed persuasion that is, I do however believe that God pre – ordained in His infinite wisdom also those who do not totally subscribe to the reformed confessions (the three confessions of unity: Heidelberg, Belgique an Dordt). Truly godly people whom I have had the honour of knowing and working with, people who loved God, who to all worldly appearance were , and are children of God…but some of them were Dispensational Baptists, Baptists, Evangelical Charismatics et al, not reformed Calvinists at all. Yet, they all do love Christ, they all do love their neighbour. As Whitefield said of Wesley: I believe I will see them in the great life hereafter.
Dr. Neveling, I heartily agree with you that there are true Christians in other denominations. That is not the issue here. The issue is what it means to be Reformed. The Three Forms of Unity define the Reformed faith for people who profess to be Reformed. There are others, who deviate from the Reformed piety and practice, and yet want to be considered Reformed, such as CRECers and they have even tried to invade and corrupt Reformed churches with doctrines that are not Reformed, such as baptismal regeneration and two stage salvation expressed as, in by grace, stay in by covenant faithfulness. We do not need them coming into our churches and trying to impose their ideas on truly Reformed churches, and if they do they should come under discipline. It is a free country, you can believe what ever you want. If you are a Baptist, a CRECer, be one, but do not come into a Reformed church and try to impose your ideas on us.