The Specifically REFORMED Legacy of the Reformation

September 28, 2017
Sam Logan

[Note: The item below expresses the views of the individual to whom the material is ascribed and does not necessarily reflect the position of the WRF as a whole.] 

 

The Reformed Legacy of the Reformation
by
Samuel T. Logan, Jr.
Associate International Director
The World Reformed Fellowship
sloganwrf@gmail.com

I. Introduction

I was recently invited to make a few comments about what I see as the distinctly “Reformed” heritage of the Reformation as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s actions in Wittenberg. 

This assignment dovetails in some ways with a task currently undertaken by the WRF Theology Commission which is currently working to provide at least a tentative definition of what the term “Reformed” (in the context of theology) actually means.  While I do not serve on that Commission, I am profoundly interested in their work and look forward to reading their conclusions. 

What follows is not an attempt to answer the question.  I am focusing more on how I understand the present state of the specifically evangelical and Reformed part of Christ’s global church.

I cannot, of course, even begin to address this subject without assuming some kind of working definition of “Reformed” and this definition will be very simple – some might even say simplistic.  But simplistic or not, I believe that it is adequate for the purposes of this particular exercise which is not to resolve detailed theological questions but to provide a general sense of how “the Reformed church” is faring in today’s world.

I once heard a management expert summarize the essence of excellent management as being the ability to keep first things first.  That’s true of excellent theology as well.  Theology deals with many issues – excellent theology keeps first things first and I believe that Reformed theology does that exceptionally well.  

My simple working definition of “Reformed” leans heavily on Martin Luther’s 1538 Galatians Commentary and on Jonathan Edwards’ 1746 “Treatise on Religious Affections.”    The former addresses the “how” of justification/salvation; the latter addresses the “why.”  Both are expressed from a human perspective. 

Here are two quotations which give expression to those aspects of my understanding of “Reformed.”

First, with regard to the “how,” from a human perspective, sinners are justified, this from Luther’s Galatians 2: 15 – 17:

The true way of becoming a Christian is to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ, and not by the works of the Law.

Here the question arises, by what means are we justified? We answer with Paul, “By faith only in Christ are we pronounced righteous, and not by works.” Not that we reject good works. Far from it.  But we will not allow ourselves to be removed from the anchorage of our salvation.

Second, with regard to the “why,” the ultimate goal sought by sinners in their justification, this from Edwards’s “Treatise on Religious Affections”:

The exercises of true and holy love in the saints arise in this way – they do not first see that God loves THEM and then see that He is lovely; but they first see that God is lovely, that Christ is excellent and glorious; their hearts are first captivated with this view . . . and then, consequentially, they see God’s love and great favor to THEM.  The saints’ affections begin with God and self-concern has a hand in these affections consequentially and secondarily only. 

God Himself is both the “how” and the “why” – we seek justification (the why”) primarily because God deserves of faith, our worship, our praise and we are justified (the “how”) only by faith through which God sovereignly and graciously imputes to us the merits of His Son, Jesus. 

Both the beginning of what we call the Lord’s Prayer and the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism echo these truths – “Our father in heaven; hallowed be your name; your Kingdom come; your will be done.”  “Man’s chief end is to glorify God.”  Both the prayer and the catechism continue to say other things as well.  But they keep the first thing first – God, His glory, His honor, His worship – and I would suggest that this is the “first thing” of Reformation and Reformed theology.

At least, that is how I will proceed in suggesting some of the elements of the specifically REFORMED legacy of the Reformation and what perhaps should be our goal for that legacy as we look ahead to the 600th anniversary of the Reformation.

I.  Some Statistics

A.  First, I will provide a few simple statistics . . . . although, of course, statistics are rarely simple.  What counts as church membership in one culture would never be recognized in another culture. 

B.  I remember a fascinating exchange in the Third WRF General Assembly which was held in Edinburgh in 2010.  We had a panel discussion on the subject of how evangelical Reformed churches should respond to the challenges being presented by groups advocating gay marriage and even gay ordination.  We had three panelists – one was a minister from the Church of Scotland, which was wrestling with that very issue at the time, one a minister in the United Presbyterian Church in the USA where that issue had already been decided in favor of gay marriage and ordination, and one the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda.  All three of these individuals had taken and were taking strong public stands in support of the traditional position on marriage.       

The first two, from Scotland and the U.S., described in great detail all of the work they had done, both in their denominations and in public presentations, to explain and defend the traditional position.  Meanwhile, Henry Orombi, the Anglican Archbishop, was listening intently and smiling noticeably.  When his turn to speak came, Henry – tall, elegant Henry, in his full Archbishop’s regalia - smiled even more broadly and said simply, “I just tell the 15 million members of my church what the truth is and they accept it.”

But Henry did go on to say what I have heard others say -  that his church may be a mile wide but it is less than an inch deep.

Why do I mention all of this? 

Henry Orombi is an individual member of the World Reformed Fellowship (along with three other Anglican Archbishops).  He strongly affirms the truths of Reformed orthodoxy.  His church may be the largest numerically of all of those represented in the WRF.  But to affirm that Reformed theology has meaningfully shaped every member of that church would probably be to say too much.  That’s why statistics alone may not be the clearest indication of the meaningful legacy of the Reformation today.

C.  And there is another challenge in addressing this subject which finds expression in my Edinburgh example.

All three of the panelists were members of churches which specifically affirm that they are Reformed – The Church of Scotland, the PCUSA, and the Anglican Church of Uganda – but the first two take positions on sexuality and marriage which many others regard as contrary to Scripture.  Should one regard a church which officially affirms the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms and which also affirms both gay marriage and gay ordination as Reformed?

I won’t try to solve this dilemma here.  I just mention it and will return to it briefly below.  But I will note that my discussion below will focus primarily on the present state of what would generally be regarded as the evangelical Reformed church. In some ways, that limits the broad relevance of my comments but, in other ways, it may make those comments more specifically relevant to those who are likely to read material on the website of the World Reformed Fellowship.

D.  Statistically, as I have already suggested, one must begin with the global conservative evangelical Anglican Church.   

1.  The standard doctrinal position of the global Anglican Communion is expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, which should be read regularly by all Reformed Christians of whatever stripe.  In light of the theme of this article, I will mention specifically two of them.  First, the opening statement of the article on justification.  It is Article #11:

WE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings.

2. The second is Article #17, “Of Predestination and Election”:           

Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.

3.  There simply is no better affirmation anywhere of the sovereignty of God in the salvation of His people than these two articles.  If the essence of the Reformation – in terms of both the how and the why of salvation – is to give the Triune God ALL the honor and ALL the glory, then these two articles clearly embody that essence.

4.  We in Presbyterian and Reformed Churches sometimes neglect the incredible impact and influence of evangelical and solidly Reformed Anglican churches.  Of course, there are strong currents of what we would call liberalism in many Anglican churches but the incredible recent growth of the global evangelical Anglican movement must be recognized and celebrated.

5.  I first met Archbishop Henry Orombi in 2008 in Jerusalem.  I had been invited to attend the first-ever meeting of a new organization called GAFCON – “Global Anglican Future Conference” -   https://www.gafcon.org/ My invitation had come from the first Anglican Archbishop to join the WRF – Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney, Australia, who had been the initial plenary speaker at the WRF General Assembly in Johannesburg in 2006.  Several years ago, Peter retired from his Archbishopric to serve as the General Secretary of GAFCON and, last month, we received an invitation to be official guests again at the next GAFCON event, also to be held in Jerusalem next June.  1100 SENIOR Anglican clergy attended in 2008; more than 2000 are expected next year. 

6.  And if you want more statistics, GAFCON, on its website, suggests that it represents the majority of all the world’s 85 million Anglicans.  Conservatively speaking, that would be about 45 million people – a HUGE Reformation legacy.

On a regular basis, leaders of GAFCON submit materials to be posted on the WRF website; most frequently these come from Peter Jensen and from his successor as Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, another member of the WRF and a 3-time graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

7.  I urge my readers - if you have not already done so, to search out the GAFCON related churches in your area; get to know their leaders; arrange to meet with them regularly for prayer, as my own personal pastor in Pennsylvania regularly does.  Yes, of course, you will find yourself differing with these Anglicans on some matters.  But if the legacy of the Reformation really is to keep the sovereignty and glory and beauty of the triune God FIRST, you will find them thoroughly Reformed and whatever you do with them will be in obedience to the Westminster Confession teaching in Chapter 25 about the universal VISIBLE church.

E.  And there is more to Africa than the Anglican Church.

We currently have WRF members in 20 African countries and, in 12 of those countries, we have DENOMINATIONAL members.

Here are some statistics regarding the largest Presbyterian churches in Africa:

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (Kenya) - 4.0 million  [http://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/presbyterian-church-of-east-africa

Presbyterian Church of Nigeria - 3.8 million     [https://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/presbyterian-church-of-nigeria

Presbyterian Church of Africa (South Africa) - 3.4 million [https://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/presbyterian-church-of-africa ]

NOTE: These are members of the World Council of Churches and not of the World Reformed Fellowship

I am not familiar with the specific theological commitments of these three denominations; their affiliation with the WCC may lead to some tentative conclusions but I would need to do far more study of these groups than I have done before trying to speak with more certainty.

F.  Of course, one cannot mention Reformed church statistics without talking about South Korea.    What an extraordinary place!  Estimates are that Presbyterians make up 28% of the population of that nation.  One of every four people you meet on the crowded streets of Seoul has said, in one way or another, that he or she believes the Westminster Confession.  Amazing!!

The first church at which I ever spoke in South Korea listed as one of its members the man who was then the President of South Korea!

1.  The largest denominations are these:

[The numbers listed are the numbers of communicant members in each]

Hapdong: 2,764,000 (11,937 local congregations) 
        {Voted in September, 2017, to join the WRF}

Tonghap: 2,731,000 (8,984 local congregations)

Koshin:  473,500 (2056 congregations)

Kijang: 240,100 (1624 congregations)

Hapshin: 151,700 (948 congregations)

[Statistics provided at the 2017 General Assembly of the Hapdong Presbyterian Church and communicated by WRF Board member Dr. In Whan Kim]

This is a total of 6,360,300 in 25,549 different local congregations . . . and remember, these are just the five largest.  There are at least 95 MORE Presbyterian denominations in South Korea.  Yes, that is a wonderful strength but it is also a challenge – can’t anything be done to bring all these Presbyterians together?

2.  Well, that work has started, led by a WRF Board member Dr. Jong Yun Lee, who, working with others, has created the Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea, which represents 27 of those Presbyterian denominations.  [He is also the man of whose church mentioned above the President of South Korea was a member.]

I have spoken in a few and I have worshiped in many of these denominations and I assure you, first things are kept first - God, His glory, His honor, His worship.  These are all part of the Reformed heritage of the Reformation.

G.  In the Americas, here are the statistics of SOME of the most influential and officially Reformed denominations (sources of information noted and WRF denominational members marked with an asterisk (*):

* The National Presbyterian Church of Mexico – 2 million
          [Rev. Amador Lopez, Moderator of the NPM]

The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America – 1.5 million
       [http://www.pcusa.org/resource/2016-summaries-statistics-comparative-summaries/]
            
* The Presbyterian Church of Brazil – 1.1 million
           [Rev. Roberto Brasiliero, President of the IPB]

* The Presbyterian Church in America – 296,000
           [Dr. Roy Taylor, Stated Clerk of the PCA] 

* The Christian Reformed Church of North America – 171,000
           [Dr. Steve Timmermans, Executive Director of the CRCNA]

* The Evangelical Presbyterian Church – 145,000
           [Dr. Jeff Jeremiah, Stated Clerk of the EPC]

The Reformed Church in America – 136,000
           [http://crf.rca.org/public/minutes/2016/organized]

* ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians – 119,000 
            [Dr. Dana Allin, ECO Synod Executive]

The Korean American Presbyterian Church - 80,000
            [http://www.kapc.org/2011/ 

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church –  31,000 

            [Dr. Ross Graham, Stated Clerk of the OPC]

* The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church – 29,000
            [Rev. Lee Shelnutt, Moderator of the ARP General Assembly]

* = A member of the World Reformed Fellowship

The Southern Baptist Convention in the USA

There are certainly many individuals in the 15-million-member Southern Baptist Convention who regard themselves as Calvinists.  But there is some resistance to this -

Three years ago The Huffington Post published an article entitled “How Calvinism is Dividing the Southern Baptist Convention.” See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/how-calvinism-is-dividing-the-southern-baptist-convention_n_3399504.html 

Also, more recently, one of the top leaders in the SBC, Dr. Paige Patterson, made strong comments about the dangers of Calvinism in that denomination - https://twitter.com/_ppatterson_/status/804849375448961024?lang=en

Nevertheless, one cannot ignore the strong Reformed emphasis in many parts of the Southern Baptist Convention in this year of our Lord 2017.

H.  Other significant global Reformed denominations include (again, asterisks indicate membership in the WRF and the sources of the information about membership numbers are listed):

* The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa – 1,100,000
         [http://www.ngkerk.org.za/english/who-we-are

The Church of Scotland – 360,000
       [Dr. Fergus Macdonald, WRF Board member]

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan – 238,400
       [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterian_Church_in_Taiwan]

* The Reformed Churches in South Africa – 100,000    
         [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Churches_in_South_Africa

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland – 98,000
           [Rev. Stafford Carson, Former Moderator of the PCI]

* The Presbyterian Church of Australia -  25,000
           [Rev. John Wilson, Moderator-General of the PCA]

* The Free Church of Scotland -  12,000
           [Dr. Fergus Macdonald, Former Moderator of the Free Church and WRF Board member]

I.  The above are the largest and most influential of the Reformed denominations of which I am aware, most of them either predominantly evangelical or with significant evangelical minorities.   Since March 1 of this year, the WRF has been in the midst of our first-ever membership renewal process whereby ALL of our members must indicate that they still hold to the theological commitments which we require . . . and this includes affirmation of one of the historic Reformed confessions and/or the WRF Statement of Faith AND agreement that “The Bible is without error in all that it teaches.”  Below is a list of the denominations which have responded positively thus far and would, therefore, definitely be regarded as both evangelical and solidly Reformed:

Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Nairobi, Kenya)

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (USA)

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Malawi

The Associated Presbyterian Churches in Scotland and Canada

The Biblical Reformed Church of Myanmar 

Chiese Evangeliche Riformate Battiste in Italia

The Christian Reformed Church in Burundi **

The Christian Reformed Church in North America

The Christian Reformed Church in South Africa

The Christians Reformed Church of Myanmar **

The Christian Reformed Church of Sri Lanka

The Council of Reformed Churches of India

Covenant Reformed Church in Uganda **

The Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa

ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians **

Eglise Presbytérienne du Sénégal

The Eglise Reformee du Quebec

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (USA)

The Evangelical Reformed Church of Lithuania

The Free Church of Scotland

Gospel Peace Church of Egypt **

Grace Presbyterian Church of Bangladesh

Grace Presbyterian Church of New Zealand

Greater Grace Ministry of Uganda

Iglesia Anglicana Episcopal Orotodoxa (Argentina) **

Igreja Presbyteriana de Angola

India Reformed Presbyterian Church

Isa-e Church (Bangladesh)

Kivu Presbyterian Church (The Democratic Republic of Congo)

The National Presbyterian Church of Mexico

The Nepali Reformed Churches

The Presbyterian Church in America

The Presbyterian Church in Uganda

The Presbyterian  Church of Australia

The Presbyterian Church of Bangladesh

The Presbyterian Church of Brazil

The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia **

The Protestant Church of Ambohimalaza-Firaisana (Madagascar)

The Reformed Church of India

The Reformed Churches in South Africa

The Reformed Community Churches in Myanmar

The Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia

The Reformed Evangelical Church of Myanmar

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of India

The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Myanmar

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Uganda

Smyrna House of Prayer Church (Bangladesh)

The Sudanese Reformed Churches

Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan

The Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan

Thyatira Church Trust Bangladesh

Union des Eglises de la Communauté Chrétienne d'Haiti

The United Church of Christ (Colombia)

The United Presbyterian Churches of Congo

Westminster Presbyterian Church (Australia)                         55 

** = became a denominational member of the WRF on or after 3/1/2017


J.  The International Conference of Reformed Churches (ICRC - http://www.icrconline.com/ ) is a group of 32 denominations in 17 countries, all of which are theologically solid and most of which would be considered very conservative.  Six of those 32 are also part of the WRF – these six are The Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church, The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, The Free Church of Scotland, The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, The Reformed Presbyterian Church of India, and the Reformed Churches of South Africa).

K.  As suggested above, we cannot simply ignore those denominations which some of us would not recognize as “evangelical” or “conservative.”  In 2010, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches merged with the Reformed Ecumenical Council to form The World Communion of Reformed Churches which claims 229 member denominations in 108 countries, with a total communicant membership of 80 million people (see http://wcrc.ch/ ).  However we may or may not approve of all of the theological positions some of these denominations have taken, we certainly cannot ignore them when discussing the specifically Reformed legacy of the Reformation. Eleven of the WCRC denominations are also members of the WRF.  These eleven are The Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa, The Sudanese Reformed Churches, The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Uganda, The Presbyterian Church of South India, The Christian Reformed Church in Myanmar, The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, The Christian Reformed Church of Sri Lanka, The Evangelical Reformed Church in Lithuania, The National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, The Christian Reformed Church of North America, and The Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

L.  The theological requirements for membership in the ICRC may be found here - http://www.icrconline.com/docs-about/ICRC%20Constitution,%20including%20amendments%20proposed%20by%20ICRC%202013.pdf .  The theological requirements for membership in the WCTC may be found here - http://wcrc.ch/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Constitution_and_Bylaws_2017-EN.pdf.  The theological requirements for membership in the WRF may be found here -  http://wrfnet.org/about/case-statement#.WczhM1tSwdU .  In general, all three organizations require affirmation of historic Reformed confessions and creeds.  To these requirements, the WRF adds the requirement that all applicants agree with this statement: “The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the God-breathed Word of God, without error in all that they affirm.”   The ICRC and the WCRC admit only denominations to membership.  The WRF welcomes into membership denominations, congregations, organizations, and individuals.

M.  In addition to denomination-based organizations, there are numerous Reformed organzations which are congregation-based.  Among these is The Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (https://crechurches.org) which has over one hundred churches and parishes spread across North America, Europe, Asia and South America. 

N.  For further information, check out the following link to Wikipedia – the article to which the link will take you lists 56 “Reformed” denominations and another 82 “Presbyterian denominations” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations#Presbyterianism.  Almost every one listed has a hypertext link to that denomination’s website.

O.  One final question – should we include Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians as part of the Reformed tradition?  My personal answer to this question had always been “No.”  But then I read an article that was submitted for our website by a former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, a member of both the WRF and the ICRC and certainly one of the world’s most conservative Reformed denominations.  The article is entitled “Reformed Spirituality and Relationships” and it was written by Dr. Fergus Macdonald.  Here is a quotation:

The essence of this paper is an exploration of five of the key elements in classic reformed spirituality together with a preliminary investigation as to how each of these might resonate to a greater or lesser extent with facets of charismatic devotion in ways which might mutually enhance dialogue between reformed and charismatics.  These elements are: the glory of God, the humiliation of sinners, the activity of the Word, the indispensability of the Holy Spirit, and the duty of self-examination.  http://wrfnet.org/articles/2017/02/wrf-board-member-dr-fergus-macdonald-considers-reformed-spirituality-and#.WYjvZYQrIdU

I have not included in this article any denominations, organizations, or individuals who self-identify as charismatic . . . but perhaps I should have.  I will leave that to the readers of this article.

III.  As I indicated above, statistics don’t tell the whole story and I would like to mention just a few specific examples of ways in which the global Reformed heritage continues to bring glory to the Lord.

Here is a brief list of a few globally influential evangelical and Reformed ministries, all of which are members of the WRF. 

Christian Witness to Israel - http://www.cwi.org.uk/.  For an analysis of the current state of the Christian church in Israel (written by a member of the WRF), see https://www.9marks.org/article/churches-in-israel-proclaiming-the-true-messiah/

Getty Music - http://www.gettymusic.com/

The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation - https://www.ccef.org/

Evangelism Explosion - http://evangelismexplosion.org/

GRACE – Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments http://www.netgrace.org/

Haddington House Trust - http://haddingtonhouse.org/

Harvest Ministries - http://www.harvestusa.org/

Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione - http://www.ifeditalia.org/

New Growth Press - http://stores.newgrowthpress.com/

Christian Focus Publications - http://www.christianfocus.com/

Third Millennium Ministries - http://thirdmill.org/

The following highly influential global ministries were invited to present their worki (all expenses covered by the WRF) at the 2015 WRF General Assembly in Sao Paulo.  The links following the names of those ministries which made presentations in Sao Paulo connect with videos of those presentations in which representatives describe the ministries. While not all of these ministries are exclusively “Reformed,” their theological commitments surely do “keep first things first.”

The Gospel Coalition – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMANlSks3-w

The Langham Partnership - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRTXDr-77Ok

The Lausanne Movement - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMANlSks3-w

The World Evangelical Alliance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv1FLWf8Gxs

The Overseas Council - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb9W31U5-4o

These educational institutions are all organizational members of the WRF:

Andrew Jumper Postgraduate Theological Center (Brazil), Chong Shin Theological Seminary (South Korea), Christ College (Australia), Covenant Theological Seminary (USA), Daeshin University and Seminary (South Korea), Edinburgh Theological Seminary (Scotland), Faculte Jean Calvin (France), Knox Theological Seminary (USA), Mackenzie Presbyterian University (Brazil), Martin Bucer Seminary (Germany), Miami International Theological Seminary (USA), Northwest University Faculty of Theology (South Africa), Presbyterian Seminary (India), Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA), Reformed Theological Seminary (nine locations in the U.S.), Westminster Theological Seminary (PA and CA), PLUS seminaries in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Latvia, Myanmar, Nepal, Romania,  and many, MANY others – all officially committed to Reformed theology and the inerrancy of Scripture.

IV.  And finally, here are the names of a few individual members of the WRF whose strong influence brings the heritage of the Reformation to the leadership of significant global ministries [not listed here are the current Presidents of WRF member theological colleges and seminaries or current members of the WRF Board of Directors – this latter list can be found here - http://wrfnet.org/about/board-of-directors#.WcrFN1uPIdU].

John Armstrong – Executive Director of The Act3 Network

William Barker – Former President of Covenant Theological Seminary

Leonardo De Chirico – Pastor of the Church Breccia di Roma and Lecturer in Historical Theology at the Instituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Italia

Aiah D. Foday-Khabenje – General Secretary of The Association of Evangelicals in Africa

Derek Halvorson – President of Covenant College

Diane Langberg – Counsellor, speaker, and author

Richard Mouw – Former President of Fuller Theological Seminary

Adriaan Neele, Co-Editor of THE JONATHAN EDWARDS ENCYCLOPEDIA (to be published by Eerdmans on November 30, 2017)

Michael Oh – CEO of The Lausanne Movement

Phil Ryken – President of Wheaton College

Luder Whitlock, Former President of Reformed Theological Seminary

Thomas Schirrmacher and Thomas Johnson – Leaders in The World Evangelical Alliance (and counsellors to Pope Francis on the doctrine of justification)

David Zadok, Grace and Truth Christian Assembly and HeGefen Publishing Company in Israel  http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/august-web-only/long-road-to-building-israels-first-post-statehood-church.html

Peter Jensen, Henry Orombi, Ben Kwashi, and Glenn Davies - Anglican Archbishops

We invited a number of our members to write reports on the specific influence of the Reformed faith in the countries where they live.  A number have responded and those detailed reports may be found here - http://wrfnet.org/articles/2017/08/examples-continuing-global-legacy-reformation#.WYW4v4QrIdU

V.  These are just a few examples of the extraordinary ways in which the Lord has blessed and is using the specifically REFORMED heritage of the Reformation.  We would love for you to tell me more – send them to us at sloganwrf@gmail.com and we will post them, along with these remarks on the WRF website.


_________________________________________________

 

VI.  Epilogue

In preparing the above presentation, I came across some further interesting statistics, though not exclusively “Reformed,” and I share the data here just because it seemed interesting to me.  The data is as of 2010 and has been tabulated by The Center for Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell [http://wwwgordonconwell.com/netcommunity/CSGCResources/ChristianityinitsGlobalContext.pdf ]

The five nations sending the most missionaries:

USA – 127,000
Brazil – 34,000
France – 21,000
Spain – 21,000
Italy – 20,000
South Korea – 20,000

The five nations sending the most missionaries PER MILLION POPULATION

Palestine -  3401
Ireland - 2131
Malta - 1994
Samoa - 1802
South Korea – 1014
Belgium – 872
[USA – 614]
[Brazil – 579]

The five nations receiving the most missionaries

The USA -  32,400
Brazil -  20,000
Russia – 20,000
Congo –  15,000
South Africa – 12,000

The five nations receiving the most missionaries PER MILLION POPULATION

Micronesia – 4,779
Samoa – 4,167
Tonga – 3,922
Netherlands Antilles – 3,317
Guam – 2,833

 

Tags: 
Reformation legacy Reformed global church