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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « When You Pass Through the Waters, I Will Be With You | Main | Semper Reformanda »

    Buses and Ambulances

    "till we all come to the unity of the faith" Ephesians 4:13

    "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity." - Augustine

    The high amount of injury and bloodshed amongst the people hurled under proverbial buses has caused great concern to me recently.

    I would just make the point that the reformation slogan of “Semper Reformanda” or “Always Reforming” is a very good one. The Reformation was never just a snap shot in time, but a desire for all Christians and the Church at large to be mastered by the God-breathed word of God until all thought and doctrine was bibline.

    I for one, am so glad that succeeding generations have weighed up some of the things the Magesterial reformers have said and written and decided that they were wrong – plain wrong – on some things. For example, some of the worst things ever said about the Jews, come from the lips and pen of Luther. That indeed is a terrible tragedy.

    Luther was a father to German hearts the way Lincoln was and is to the people of the United States. It could be argued that Germany’s history with anti-semitism could be traced back directly to Luther’s writings. It gives me no joy at all to say so, but that is a fact. As much as we love these heroes of the faith, only Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith for the people of God. Yet we embrace these men even though we may strongly disagree with them on some things. Believe me, for a Jew, Luther’s rhetoric is very problematic, and I have had many a conversation with Jewish people where when the name of “Luther” came up, the conversation was basically over. Yet centuries on, I am happy to embrace Luther as my brother in Christ and fellow laborer in reformation and am thankful to God for his ministry.

    I say all this because many seem to want to claim the title of “reformed” only for themselves. Some Presbytereans seek to outlaw Baptists as not being reformed, and so on. Cessationists want to do that with the likes of Piper, Grudem, Storms, D. A. Carson and so on. Without trying to be funny, I just think cessationists should just “stop it!” None of these men individually or not even all of them collectively are infallible (just like Luther or Calvin) but I think we are a sad, sad bunch of people if we do not allow these men (and others like them) to be included under the umbrella of “reformed,” because of our differences concerning spiritual gifts.

    The issues are indeed important, but lets keep talking to one another, and not divide over these things, when what we share in common FAR outweighs our differences. If you can look at a D. A. Carson and say “I dont want you in our circles because you wrote a book about spiritual gifts and exegeted 1 Cor 12-14 in a way I dont agree with” – be my guest – go ahead.. but you wont find me cheering you on.

    I thank God very much for my reformed cessationist friends and am happy to embrace them as co-laborers in reformation. I hope others on the other side of the aisle in this debate can do likewise in reciprocity.

    Semper Reformanda,

    John Samson

    Posted by John Samson on August 26, 2011 06:35 PM

    Comments

    In light of this article I believe what you are saying by it squares with these short few words from Hebrews 6:3:

    Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.

    Thanks for sharing your insights on the maturity and immaturity of the Saints!

    What's that old saw?

    "The Saints in Heaven all full of bliss and glory.

    The Saints on earth, well, you know that is a different story."

    Very good thoughts. Think how much more could be done if we spent less time trying to vote each other off of the island.

    thanks John good article, I'm also thankful for true brothers in Christ even though differing in the view of the gifts of the Spirit. My dearest brothers differ on this subject. Sometimes as we talk we find we are not so far apart but use different terms in describing the same doctrinal positions. So that the cessationist is not so ceasing of all workings of the Spirit as first appears nor is the continuationist the extreme BennyHinn Charasmatic after all. "To the word and to the testimony" agree all true brothers in Christ. Though this word is often used to hurl one another under that bus you were mentioning. May God grant unity in the truth to his own glorious purposes.

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