Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Semper Reformanda! My Arminian Fellows

Thinking of this phrase earlier, I wondered how many Google hits I could find with this sedate phrase. I came up with 66,900, with safe search on obviously to keep the Triabloke bloggers at bay. At least the first two or three pages were mostly hardcore Calvinist websites obviously pleased to mouth a phrase few of them have paused to consider. Always reforming is the catch phrase or more historically, Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda loosely translated as the church reformed, always reforming. I can understand Luther's purpose and his mindset that we should always have reform in mind when dealing with the doctrines of the church to guard against ingrained error. I have never understood the Calvinist entrenchment of their dogmatic instruction as anything to be held up as semper reformanda. If anything could be held to be consistent and accurate to the intent of the phrase, it would be Arminius and his challenge of what he demonstrated to be gross error and deviation from simple scriptural truths. Always examining scripture and reforming oneself from the poorly devised doctrines that call for review, the true Reformation minded soul should be open to examination, receptive to clearly expressed scriptural truths, averse to antinomic conclusions. If anything at all, the Arminian can proclaim Semper Reformanda and do so with clearer conviction than the Calvinist who never budges from long rebutted dogma. For that matter we might reclaim the phrase Doctrines of Grace and give it proper due.


bossmanham said...

Amen. Sometimes it seems that we are too hesitant to use reformation language because of the things it may conjure up in the minds of many. It's too bad we have allowed this co-option of the language by Calvinists. God bless!

A.M. Mallett said...

We have talked about this on SEA in the past particularly about challenging the Calvinist when they use phrases such as "doctrines of Grace" implying some sense of exclusivity. I have always liked the phrase "doctrines of Christ".