Monday, January 3, 2011

A Few Comments on Always Reformed

 As 2010 wound to a close one of the must have books was this volume, Always Reformed, Essays in Honor of W. Robert Godfrey.  Though I am not an alumnus of WSC I have had interaction with some of its professors, including R. Scott Clark.  I have also had the distinct privilege of sitting under Dr. Godfrey as a professor for a ThM class at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. 

I won't attempt to summarize the entire book in this post, for that would be rather lengthy.  Instead, let me make some general comments that will hopefully lead you to purchase the book for yourself. 

The book is a series of essays written by Dr. Godfrey's friends and colleagues in honor of his sixty-fifth birthday.  From the preface we learn that the topics addressed are one's that he has spent a career researching and discussing.  There are fourteen essays spread across three categories - Historical, Theological and Ecclesiastical.  I found the following essays to be the most helpful to me:

2 – Make War No More? The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of J. Gresham Machen’s Warrior Children by D.G. Hart. Click here to see a lengthy discussion of this essay (be sure to read the comments).

4 – “Magic and Noise:” Reformed Christianity in Sister’s America by R. Scott Clark.

6 – Reformed and Always Reforming by Michael S. Horton.

7 – Calvin, Kuyper, and “Christian Culture” by David VanDrunen.

10 – The Reformation, Luther and the Modern Struggle for the Gospel by R.C. Sproul.

11 – Reformation of the Supper by Kim Riddlebarger.

14 – Epilogue: The Whole Counsel of God: Courageous Calvinism for a New Century by W. Robert Godfrey.

An added bonus is chapter 13 which details the Dutch Reformed tradition in America culminating in the formation of the United Reformed Church of North America.

For those of us in the PCA there is great merit in interacting with these essays.  I liked the book so much and thought it to be so timely that I purchased several copies and gave it to the elders of my church as a Christmas gift.  At stake is what it means to be "reformed".  As our denomination grapples with its identity I would hope that many of my peers would purchase this book and do some soul-searching.  I plan to write a follow-up post to discuss a bit further.

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