On October 2017, Protestant churches around the world will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In doing so, these churches are not celebrating any particular individual, but God’s work in reawakening the church to the central truths of the gospel. We remember God’s work in the past and rejoice in the church’s recovery of the doctrines of justification and the ultimate authority of Scripture.
At the same time, we recognize that it is not enough merely to celebrate the doctrines recovered during the Reformation—we must also continue to defend them, teach them, and herald them from our pulpits. As this magazine reflects on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we do so with immeasurable gratitude to God but also with a sense that the Reformation is where we find our own theological identity. We are, without apology, Protestants.
The errors that Luther countered in 1517 and throughout the Reformation have persisted even into our own day. That is why the church must continually be reformed by the Word of God.
The five solas that became formulated as a summary of the reformation in the 20th century—Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone—must still be defended and taught in our churches.
“The errors that Luther countered in 1517 and throughout the Reformation have persisted even into our own day. That is why the church must continually be reformed by the Word of God.”
The modern age needs these truths just as urgently as the church did in 1517.
As we look to the year 1517, we are looking at a turning point in human history. We are standing upon the rock of Jesus’ own sovereignty over human history. We are standing on a rock that will prevail, even against the gates of Hell.
This issue of Southern Seminary Magazine commemorates the work of God in the 16th century through men like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin—a work that includes Magisterial Reformers, an army of preachers, and Anabaptist martyrs. But more than that, this issue of Southern Seminary Magazine calls its readers to continue the work of Reformation and press into the same theological convictions championed by the Reformers. These are not secondary or tertiary issues. These are the doctrines by which the church stands or falls. May we be found faithful in defending these truths by the generations that follow us. Thankfully, we can see that young army of gospel preachers and convictional believers continuing to build right now on the campus of Southern Seminary and Boyce College.