Reformed Reflections

Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology
Edited by A.T.B. McGowan,
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 2006. Pb. 365 pp.

Johan D. Tangelder.

In the heady 1960s, revisionist Protestants demanded a "new reformation", invoking "always reforming" to justify abandoning the core of Reformation theology based on the Bible. In reaction, some Reformed theologians have often focussed too much on their theological heritage, giving the impression that the final codification of the truth has already taken place and that there is no need for further reformation. But the complex issues, which earlier generations had to face, cannot be answered by restating old ideas in old familiar words. How should the church deal with questions of cloning, religious pluralism, loss of denominational loyalty, indifference to doctrinal distinctives, the emerging church movement, the "new atheism", the "new perspective" on Paul, and a postmodern world committed to relativism?

Always Reforming, a collection of essays, written by conservative Reformed theologians from a range of denominations and nationalities, discuss the continual need to subject the beliefs of the church and its practices to the renewed scrutiny of the infallible Holy Scriptures. They identify dangers threatening the Christian faith, explore new possibilities and make a positive contribution to evangelical scholarship. Although Always Reforming is not a complete systematic theology, it explores several pertinent themes and doctrines which are currently debated. Some of them are:

Classical Christology's Future in Systematic Theology by Robert L. Reymond, Professor of Systematic Theology at Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, Florida,

Justification: The Ecumenical, Biblical and Theological Dimensions of Current Debates by Cornelis P. Venema, President and Professor of Doctrinal Studies at MARS. Dyers, Indiana,

The Doctrine of the Church in the Twenty-First Century by Derek W.H. Thomas, Professor of Practical and Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi.

Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology is a much needed guide to help pastors, not only to identify current theological dangers, but also to find Biblical answers and approaches to aid their preaching and teaching.