Evangelical Reformed Ecumenicity and the WRF
A Report by
Samuel T. Logan
International Director of the World Reformed Fellowship
I recently received a request from a WRF member and, as I developed a response to that request, I thought that this material should probably be seen by anyone interested in the WRF and its work. I have, therefore, reproduced both the request and my response to the request. I do so with the permission of the WRF member who made the request.
The responses to the request were made by WRF members. I would be delighted to receive additional responses - just send them to me at email@example.com.
Since 1995, I have been managing http://www.riforma.net, my own website in Italian keeping up with Reformed theology. Over the years, this site has become rather well-known and was instrumental not only for promoting Biblical Reformation but also for the conversion to Christ of several people.
My theological position is Reformed and conservative, but tolerant on different debatable subjects as, for example, sacraments, liturgies etc. I have, nevertheless, often to do with people who, like zealots, are always ready to fight and claim "I am more Reformed than you are", or "We are the true Reformed churches", always ready to find faults of some kind or another. I want my site to be open and helpful to all kinds of people.
Now I ask you, do you know of any WRF statements or articles presenting its tolerant view and educating its members to accept one another not only as Reformed but also patient with non-Reformed Christians?
Thanks for your help.
Kind regards, Paolo
Paolo E. Castellina
These are the suggestions that have been sent thus far (June 1, 2009) in response to the request above.
The WRF is in the process of creating a “Statement of Faith” which it believes will define the essence of the Reformed faith for its members who come from 55 different nations. The WRF Commission preparing this Statement is made up of individuals from six continents and all of these individuals are members of the WRF, which means that they are committed to the WRF position on Scripture (Scripture is “without error” in all that it teaches) and to one of the historic Reformed confessions (the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Gallican Confession, the Belgic Confession, The Thirty-Nine Articles, The Second Helvetic Confession, the Canons of Dort, the London Confession of 1689, or the Savory Declaration). The Commission plans to present the "Statement of Faith” at the WRF General Assembly in Edinburgh in April of 2010. This Statement should be a good guide to the things that many in the WRF believe are “the essentials” of the evangelical Reformed faith.
1. Martin Lloyd-Jones was an irenic individual and his published commentary Christian Unity:
An Exposition of Ephesians Four One to Sixteen is an excellent work.
2. B. B. Warfield was more expansive than many assume and his little booklet The Plan of Salvation is available online at http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/WarfieldPlan_index.html. This sorts out Calvinism, Arminianism, Catholicism in a very soft and understanding way.
John Frame’s material entitled “Machen’s Warrior Children” is an outstanding summary of the issues that have defined and divided the American Reformed community in the U.S. in the 20th century. It is available at http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles2003Machen.htm
WRF member Rich Mouw’s article , “An Open-Handed Gospel,” which appeared in the April 3, 2008, issue of Christianity Today is excellent on this subject. It may be accessed at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/april/15.44.html
WRF member Bill Edgar’s book, Truth in All its Glory: Commending the Reformed Faith is excellent on this subject.