Is the Reformation over?

I’ve never liked describing myself as ‘reformed’. In fact, although I have many good friends who disagree, I think it’s a big mistake for anyone to do so. (You’ll be glad to know that we remain friends, despite the disagreement!)

Done, or doing?

The problem is not necessarily one of theology but of grammar. To describe yourself as reformed is to put the Reformation in the past, not in the present. It suggests that you think the church was in a bad way, but during the 16th-century Reformation, it reformed itself fully. For the reformed Christian, the Reformation is therefore over, at least for him or her. What needed to be reformed has been reformed, and our job is to maintain that until Jesus returns.

But it’s worth remembering that almost no-one would say that Martin Luther or John Calvin were reformed. Continue reading