Definitions

Since moving to Savannah 6 months ago I’ve been asked whether or not I’m “reformed” more than in the last four years combined.  For some reason that definition seems to be a pretty big deal around here.  Ordinarily I do my best to avoid labels especially in my preaching and teaching.  I’d rather simply affirm what the bible teaches and if that falls into some category then so be it.

Then I read this piece and it turns out it may not matter anyway.  Though my beliefs regarding salvation would fall within the boundaries of reformed theology, since I have not embraced “reformed thinking” when it comes to other doctrines I may not actually be reformed.  I’m really OK with that.

However, one example this blogger uses to illustrate my “non-reformedness” is my understanding of the covenants. He says,

“Our Baptist friends…insist that the adjective “old covenant” refers to everything that occurred before the incarnation (despite Paul’s definition of “old covenant” in 2 Cor 3 and despite the way it is used in Hebrews) and therefore the new covenant is so utterly different from Abraham that, despite God’s command to initiate covenant children into the visible church/kingdom, we can no longer initiate covenant children thus.”

I’m sure I’m oversimplifying here and I’m sure that for this to be a really effective post I should spend a lot of time defining terms and providing reasons why I don’t hold to a “reformed” understanding of the covenants.  But it seems to me that at some basic level the reformation itself was about departing from long held extra-biblical beliefs and practises within the Catholic Church.  The “reformed” understanding of the covenants is an area that the reformers left unreformed.  So doesn’t this mean that I’m actually more reformed in my “non-reformedness” than those who are reformed?

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