The New Reformation

No, I'm not fasting from technology for Lent, though it may look like it. Len at Next Reformation posted this great quote from Reggie McNeal's "The Present Future," which I read several years ago and helped me get a new picture of not just the church but of my faith journey. This is fascinating. wonder...how well does this resonate with what you/we are living? Which of these many polarities are the most relevant to you? How do you feel being part of a new Reformation? What does his description of the new Reformation say to you?

“The first Reformation was about freeing the church. The new Reformation is about freeing God’s people from the chruch (the institution). The original Reformation decentralized the church. The new Reformation decentralizes ministry. The former Reformation occurred when clergy were no longer willing to take marching orders from the Pope. The current Reformation finds church members no longer willing for clergy to script their personal spiritual ministry journey. The last Reformation moved the church closer to home. The new Reformation is moving the church closer to the world. The historic Reformation distinguished Christians one from the other. The current Reformation is distinguishing followers of Jesus from religious people. The European Reformation assumed the church to be a part of the cultural political order. The Reformation currently underway does not rely on the cultural political order to prop up the church. The initial Reformation was about church. The new Reformation is about mission.”
Reggie McNeal, The Present Future


Tom A said...

Awww Jeez. Does this mean we have to change our name again? How about Christians Reforming At-Large?

TruthMatters said...

The problem with McNeal's analysis is that the first Reformation wasn't about "freeing the church", it was about making the truths of Scripture known to the church - both the institution and its people.

To suggest that another Reformation is needed is to say that the truths of Scripture are insufficient or inaccurate. Therefore, while we - as both the institution and the people of the church admittedly need to be more obedient to God and His Word, there is no need for a theological second Reformation.

Words mean things... and to analogize the emergent/ing movements to the Reformation is... well, foolish at best and arrogant at worst. It may have its usefulness, but history will show that it's simply another movement and will not have the historical or theological impact that the Reformation had.