Theology

At the inaugural General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship in Orlando, Florida in 2000, it was determined that the WRF could serve the Church by preparing a new Statement of Faith for the 21st Century.

There were three primary reasons for this decision:

The first reason was that the members of the WRF were drawn from many nations and from many denominations and were using a whole range of confessional statements which included the Scots Confession, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Thirty Nine Articles, the Canons of the Synod of Dort, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Savoy Declaration and others.  At the same time, there was general agreement that we were all ‘"eformed" in theology. Since we were all Reformed, surely it should be possible to come up with a common confessional statement?

The second reason was the need for a confessional statement to address the issues the church is facing today. All of our Confessions were written in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and were largel designed to state the Reformed faith as over against medieval Roman Catholicism and, in the case of the later ones, Arminianism. None of the historic Reformed Confessions deal with the major issues which have faced the Church throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as Liberalism, Pluralism and Postmodernism, or with such specific matters as abortion, homosexuality, and genetic engineering. 

The third reason was that all of our Confessions were written in Western Europe, whereas the leadership in the evangelical and Reformed global church has now moved to the southern hemisphere. We desired that voices from the Majority World join voices from the West to set out Reformed Theology as we believe it is taught in Scripture.

Shortly after that inaugural Assembly in 2000, 9/11 happened and very little work was done on this project.   At the General Assembly in South Africa in 2006, the WRF appointed a Theological Commission and instructed the team of scholars thus appointed to set about the business of writing a new Statement of Faith. The members of the Theological Commission who carried out this work were as follows (in alphabetical order): Dr. Professor Pierre Berthoud from France; Dr. Gerald Bray from England; Dr. Flip Buys from South Africa; Dr. Leonardo de Chirico from Italy; Dr. Wilson Chow from Hong Kong; Dr. Victor Cole from Kenya; Dr. Allan Harman from Australia; Dr. Peter Jones from the USA; Dr. In Whan Kim from South Korea; Dr. Julius Kim from the USA; Dr. Samuel Logan from the USA; Dr. Augustus Nicodemus Lopes from Brazil; Dr. Andrew McGowan from Scotland; Dr. David McKay from Northern Ireland and Dr. Steven Tong from Indonesia.  Dr. McGowan served and continues to serve as the Chair of the Theology Commission.

The Statement of Faith was presented to and received by the WRF General Assembly in 2010 in Edinburgh and all members of the WRF were invited to communicate with the WRF Board of Directors with questions, suggestions, or concerns about the Statement of Faith.

Many communications were received, the Theology Commission reviewed each one carefully, and presented to the Board of Directors, at its meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, in March of 2011, a number of suggested modifications to the original Statement. After lengthy discussion and further amendment, the Board approved a final version of the Statement of Faith which has been posted on the WRF website since June 1, 2011.

Subsequently, the Board determined to bring the final Statement of Faith to the 2014 General Assembly with the recommendation that it be approved as one of the confessions to which applicants for membership in the WRF may subscribe as part of the application process.

The Statement of Faith is available on this website in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Korean (under the “About” tab on the home page).

At the 2011 Board meeting, the Board requested the Theology Commission to undertake a further project related to the first.  In light of the wide variety of ways in which the word “Reformed” is used, the WRF asked the Theology Commission to prepare for the 2014 General Assembly a brief summary of this question, ‘What does it mean to be ‘Reformed’?” 

This project is now underway with Dr. Andrew McGowan continuing to lead the Commission.  Members currently serving on the Commission are Pierre Berthoud, Victor Cole, Benyamin Intan, Augustus Nicodemus Lopes, Samuel Logan, Kin Yip Louie, Fergus MacDonald,  and Rob Norris.

Anyone having questions about the work of the Theology Commission should contact Dr. Samuel Logan at samueltlogan@aol.com .