16 April 2017

Spanish Evangelicals and Reformation Reflections

I'm afraid this article coming out of Spain is just more rubbish from some of the Lausanne-affiliated groups.
They misrepresent Luther and his focus on the Gospel. It's a stunt but one that will get them some media attention in this anniversary year.

But on the other hand they represent the Sacralist heritage of the Magisterial Reformation. The worldview teaching they promote, the 20th century re-casting of Christendom echoes the views or at least the assumptions of Abraham Kuyper and Francis Schaeffer. Today's Evangelicals who are quickly succumbing to liberal theology do not precisely replicate the views of those socially conservative men. The 'conservatism' of today has been heavily affected by both the assumptions of Classical Liberalism and one of its offspring, that of modern Feminism. Kuyper and Schaeffer were also affected by Classical Liberalism's values and narratives but represented these views to a lesser degree and in some very important ways resisted them.
For modern Dominionism the transformation of culture is the gospel, just as much any sort of message about trusting in Christ.
It must be said that as we arrive at the 500th anniversary of Luther's 95 Theses, the heritage of the Reformation is in many ways in both a dismal state and in other ways quite dead. In other respects its legacy has moved on to such a degree as to relegate Luther to the point of obsolescence. Modern Sacralist Evangelicalism counts Luther and Calvin as part of their ancestry but it has in so many ways turned its back on their foundations.
There are dynamics and tensions at work here. Confessionalists will decry modern Evangelicalism as a deviation or departure from the Reformation heritage... and they have a point.
Sociologists and historians might look to modern Ecumenical Culture-focused Evangelicalism as an inevitable fruit and consequence of the Magisterial Reformation and they also would have a point. In some ways the trajectory of Evangelicalism is being faithful to a current or impulse launched by the Reformation. In this sense Confessionalism is something of an anachronism.
From my own perspective I can find much to appreciate in the Reformation but precious little when it comes to modern Evangelicalism. And yet at the same time in this anniversary year of 2017 it's probably more helpful to reflect on the Reformation, its blessings and curses, its return to Scripture and yet at the same time its woeful failures.
This would probably be more helpful than this sham exercise being put forth by Spanish Evangelicals, but the same must be said for those in Confessional circles who will gush and celebrate triumph in what the Reformation supposedly accomplished. And yet their celebrations are necessarily muted as the heritage of the Reformation, our modern liberal and industrial society is quickly slipping into dystopian collapse.

Blind guides for the most part they are unable to reckon with their own heritage and the many rotten fruits it has produced.


  1. Too bad they don't take to the heart the very first thesis Martin Luther proposed:

    "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ``Repent'' (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance."

    That doesn't work well with cultural conquest.

  2. I'll post some further worthwhile reflections by Cal...