Editor’s Introduction -- By: T. M. Moore

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 10:2 (Spring 2001)
Article: Editor’s Introduction
Author: T. M. Moore

Editor’s Introduction

T. M. Moore

This issue of Reformation and Revival Journal is devoted to a consideration of the confessional heritage of the Reformation tradition. To some, this may seem an unusual subject for a journal devoted to fostering renewal in the church. Are not such studies more appropriate for more purely theological publications?

However, critical to the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in the churches is sound instruction in doctrinal orthodoxy. God will not revive his people on any basis other than the clear and uncompromised foundation of his holy Word. Therefore, preparation for the reviving winds of the Spirit must involve sound and consistent instruction in the doctrines of the faith. Historically, it has been among churches where faithful ministers have diligently and consistently laid such a foundation that the Spirit of God has most powerfully and effectually moved among his people. The creeds and confessions of the Reformation tradition provide a most helpful framework for laying such a foundation.

Recent trends in preaching have seen a move away from exegetical and doctrinal homiletics toward a more need-centered approach. While an emphasis on congregational needs must always be included in the preaching of the Word, making this the basis of preaching runs the risk of neglecting or compromising a comprehensive doctrinal foundation for the sake of what can appear to be more immediate concerns. Recovering a broad-based and consistent orthodoxy in preaching certainly allows us to speak to the needs of the congregation. More importantly, it helps to ensure that our preaching will be the sort that God is most pleased to honor with that outpouring of his Spirit that brings revival to his people in his time.

The creeds and confessions of the Reformation tradition are like scaffolds upon which the builders of the church stand as they carry out the work assigned to them. Set on the solid rock of God’s Word, they provide a framework within which the building of the church can proceed according to the design of the Divine Architect, and they provide a place to take our stand as we lay stone upon stone in that glorious temple of praise that God is raising for himself. Understanding these doctrinal formularies in their historical provenance, doctrinal clarity, and contemporary relevance can re-ignite our sense of continuity with previous generations whose labors God was pleased to bless in reviving and reforming his church. These majestic formularies of faith were developed amid doctrinal confusion, political uncertainty, and ecclesiastical disunity in an effort to recover and restate the ancient apostolic teaching in a manner most conducive to the needs of the...

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