On the Cusp of a Second Reformation

Most of us would agree that using current events to predict the future is a good way to be wrong. Yet as we are one year short of the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation, the seismic shifts in our culture – particularly the rapidity of information dissemination and the resulting ability to tear down venerable authorities – should compel us to examine how we might be able to engage people in Western culture.

This essay steps back to look at a broader sweep of church history, and then offers some observations about the possibilities of a Second Reformation. Phyllis Tickle raised the profile of the notion that each monotheistic faiths has undergone a massive shift roughly every 500 years. She described paradigm shifts that could be seen as sorts of rummage sales in which a multitude of societal forces coalesce to effect a cleaning out or reorganization of religious structures. That is to say that about every 500 years amongst the monotheistic faiths, believers have been a part of a sort of debarnacling from dominant religious edifices.1

Constantine’s conversion was a major catalyst for the first such shake up in Christianity around the 5th century when his political maneuvering resulted in a church with a militant, triumphal, and creedal focus. In a second major change, the Great Schism of the 11th century separated the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman) churches. Then, the Reformation resulted in modifications such as priesthood of all believers, sola scriptura, and a peaceful acceptance of Christ’s abundant justification.

Calls for a Second Reformation

In the last 50 years numerous voices have noted the need for a second reformation. In addition to her historical observations, Tickle became an advocate for 21st century change:

“Superimpose everything happening to us on the Great Reformation of 1517. For example, lay the Internet on the printing press, the music Luther used to carry the theology, the science of Copernicus. The Reformation era was characterized by the rise of nation states; now we have the rise of globalization. We’ve gone from a cash-based society to an information society. The social unit has changed—the Protestant Reformation configuration of the nuclear family doesn’t occur now. We’ve gone from hierarchy to globalized networking, from the growth of the middle class to the death of the middle class.”2

Thirty years ago William Beckham, Baptist missionary and author, advocated cell churches as a way to address the problem caused by the current hierarchical organizational form of ecclesiastical structure.3 Among many changes, Beckham urged a commitment for servant leadership and a shedding of the corporate milieu that had infected twentieth century Christianity.

Rick Warren also uses the term Second Reformation4 to emphasize the massive shift needed from creeds to deeds; a concept that should not be foreign to Adventists:

“The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.”5

Though he didn’t call specifically for a second reformation, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, wrote almost prophetically about the problems that had arisen since the first one, identifying pervasive weaknesses of 20th century Christian worldview. Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, The Cost of Discipleship has become a current Christian classic with its thought provoking definitions and analogies in the struggle of cheap vs. costly grace.6 As the title implies, Bonhoeffer believed that true grace must lead to a costly discipleship, a step that has been omitted from most Christian salvation formulas.

Even in Islam, the call for a shake up or Reformation has been issued by some as a way to cope with current internal tensions. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali born author and human rights activist, bravely describes the importance of Islamic religious doctrines, yet their desperate need for reform within.7 The tension she describes about interpretation of the Qur’an is a familiar one to Christians who are realizing our own hermeneutical struggles as well. Ali contends that as long as Muslims hold to the notion that the Qur’an is the literal word of God then extremists will be able to lay confident claim to theological rationale for their acts. Though Ali offers no convincing evidence that Islam can successfully have a reformation, she optimistically promotes such a constructive shake up as the way forward for the faith.

Most familiar for Seventh-day Adventist readers is the rallying call from the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta – “Revival and Reformation.”

A couple months ago in a very crowded Wittenberg on Reformation Day, I saw several groups of fervent Adventists amongst the street merchants. One of these groups, just 20 feet from the famous doors of The Castle Church where Luther nailed his 95 Theses, featured a quartet of Adventist Europeans singing the English version of “Blessed Assurance” to the German crowd. Others distributed literature proclaiming familiar prophecies. As I meandered through the crowd, I enjoyed observing the interactions of these fellow Adventists. When they discerned that I spoke English, their appeal to me was that it was time to move forward beyond the Reformation, implying that a Second Reformation was needed and at hand. What concepts would make up the core of a Second Reformation to which these young friends refer? Would their construct be such that they could engage people in Western culture?

The Reformation was a part of a changing civilization in which a more literate people would gain a better understanding of nature and science. It was believed that with enough effort it would be possible to comprehend everything. Our world realizes the impossibility of that dream, moreover our experience reveals that what is truth today is quite likely to be shown as error tomorrow.

Thus, I believe the struggle today concerns two main questions:

1. What does an authentic Christian look like? 2. Where is the authority?

Authentic Discipleship

Perhaps all can agree that one prominent goal in any sort of reformation should be the call to discipleship. Maybe we now reap the results of an over emphasis on the beautiful, but limited, mathematical formula popularized by Luther in which Christ’s blood covers our sin and we are instantly justified – end of story. Is it possible that as a result we have a multitude of Christians in name only, whose lives exhibit a constant breaking of the third commandment as they take the name “Christian,” but choose to adopt a “sin now, repent later” permissiveness?

Perhaps leaders have subconsciously been okay with this since, by its very nature, discipleship can be messy. It cannot be regulated, dictated, prescribed, reliably judged and quantified. Discipleship is Spirit directed, and the wind blows wherever it pleases (John 3:8). Thus, discipleship might contradict the modern corporate structure which insipiently has been overlaid on Christianity with its metrics, goals, policies and pronouncements.

Perhaps we also can agree that Jesus must be the model of authentic faith and discipleship. “Jesus defines what God is really like. God is love – co-suffering, all-forgiving, sin-absorbing, never-ending love. God is not like Caiaphas sacrificing a scapegoat. God is not like Pilate enacting justice by violence. God is like Jesus, absorbing and forgiving sin.”8

Lastly, an authentic discipleship would require a reexamination of the notion of prayer. In many ways prayer has become a path of management and acquisition in which we manage God and acquire for ourselves. Prayer has been skewed in an accommodation to the 20th century goal attainment ethos – hints of the prosperity gospel taint the conception of prayer. It is time to return to true prayer, which leads to openness to aligning oneself with God and His path. As Bonhoeffer recommended, authentic discipleship means to take Jesus’ admonitions very seriously. “Your will be done.”


A commendable, yet bookish goal, throughout the Reformation was to get scripture in the hands of the common people in a language that they understood; something we take for granted today. Prior to this era all study had been done in Latin, the language of the educated minority. Latin was used in law, science, and religion. Dedication to removing barriers between the learned and unlearned motivated Tyndale and others. They were influenced by their cultural era, the Enlightenment, which assumed that truth could be investigated and ultimately understood. Calvin described the heavens as intelligible in their deepest meaning to the unlearned as well as the learned. Yet, Shakespeare had some understanding of the difficulties which could arise when he said, “The devil can cite scripture for his own purpose.”

We must acknowledge that the Enlightenment promised a utopia that it couldn’t deliver. Now, believers and non-believers would agree that Christianity must be more than proof texts or bumper sticker proclamations. It must be more than an intellectual knowledge, which leads to parroting the propositions of the dominant institutional political power. Perhaps, Christians have become too clingy and finicky about certain code phrases, missing the broader truth of the radical subversion of religion, which happened two thousand years ago with the mystery of the incarnation – the Word dwelling among us. Any authoritative stance would gain credibility if it were bathed in a clarifying humility.

Now with abundant Biblical translations, scholars discover new historical slants and documents. Perhaps it is time to abandon the exercise of propping the Bible as an end to itself. Maybe it is time to shift the emphasis from the Bible as an inspired sign; to a stance that the Bible is a Spirit infused document which points to the true Word.

So, where is the authority? Church leaders? A policy? A Bible verse? Which one? A Biblical interpretation? Which one? Red letter Jesus quotes from the gospel? And what is the nature of this authority? Does it address every conceivable issue? Does Biblical authority require us to build a fortress theology? Does authority allow for verstehen – an empathy of others and their point of view?

Indeed, people are growing less confident in asserting the human ability to have exhaustive knowledge of anything. Western society has turned the page from certitude to mystery. Ask a quantum physicist. Yet, a residual consequence of the Enlightenment’s certainty of ultimate understanding has provoked a fear of deviating from a prescribed script. This fear of finding previous beliefs modified or contradicted inhibits a large portion of Christians from digging deep and truly examining the Bible under a Spirit guided quest. After all at the end, no definitive conclusion may be possible. This reticence to allow for mystery hurts the Christian witness in Western culture today. Perhaps, in many cases belief has become a thin veneer of confident propositions that masks the artistic masterpiece just under the surface. Paradoxically, this artistic masterpiece (an authentic disciple) would be more impressive with a humble presentation.

So, what is the appropriate tension between doubt and certitude? Can methods for coping with this tension be prescribed from a central authority? How much doubt can be allowed?

Turning to Jesus as a model again, one must acknowledge that He experienced the ultimate doubt. Some of His last words were “My God, why have you forsaken me?” From this, let us derive the construct that real faith can allow doubt, and let us accept the opposite corollary that false faith cannot.

We would do well to consider the thoughts of nineteenth century Scottish Pastor George MacDonald:

“Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth.”9


Everlasting Gospel Ever-Changing World: Introducing Jesus to a Skeptical Generationby Jon Paulien10 has been helpful to jumpstart the conversation to attempt to describe a path for Seventh-day Adventists to engage people in 21st century Western culture. Paulien describes ways to maintain faithfulness to core truths, while pursuing authentic discipleship; he advocates keeping the basics, but adjusting our emphasis.

As we swim in a torrent of societal forces that seem to mandate a Second Reformation let us consider the possibility that all the important words may have been said – too often. Maybe the important thing now is to start to live them. A paradigm shift has occurred.

Discussions are becoming less effective when one approaches from a stance of, “I am right, let me prove it.”

Let us consider that one can have basically the same sorts of conversations with greater effect from a stance of, “Here is what I believe and this is how I live because of it.”

It is by grace that you are saved, through faith, not by anything of your own, but by a pure gift from God, and not by anything you have achieved. Nobody can claim the credit. You are God's work of art.–Ephesians 2:8, adapted.

It has been said that fundamentalism is to Christianity as paint-by-numbers is to art. It is time to be a true work of art.

1. The Great Emergence, Baker Books, 2012. 2. https://sojo.net/magazine/august-2008/faithful-transitions 3. A Second Reformation: Reshaping the Church for the 21st Century, TOUCH Publications, 1995. 4. http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/10/Rick-Warrens-Second-Reformation.aspx 5. Ministry of Healing,p.470 Pacific Press, 1905 6. The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959. 7. Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Harper Collins, 2015. 8. Brian Zahnd, Water to Wine, Spello Press, 2016, p.15. 9. The Curate’s Awakening, Bethany House, 1985 p. 217 10. Everlasting Gospel Ever- Changing World: Introducing Jesus to a Skeptical Generation, Jon Paulien, Pacific Press, 2008.

Carmen Lau is a board member of Adventist Forum, the organization that publishes Spectrum.

Image Credit: Painting by Greg Copeland which first appeared in the book, Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul Maier, published by Concordia Publishing House in 2004.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7301

Are you asking for another Glacier View? A good place to start would be to infuse Justification and Sanctifiation.That is were Luther began. Could it be the tithe? tom Z

There was a call for revival and reformation 40 years ago…but at least the leadership used the bible to present a specific target/goal for the members to aim at.
I won’t even post it because of the general hostility toward it.

The contemporary SDA church has eliminated the previous target so it invalidates the revival and reformation. What do people aim at now? The target /goal transitioned to some elusive, ambiguous, pseudo spiritual, subjective phantom Jesus.

In the article is a familiar quote heard by many…

“The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian"

Why is this the strongest argument?
What is the point of the sentence?
What is the gospel?

What is really messed up is that many or most don’t even care.

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““The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian”

“What is really messed up is that many or most don’t even care.”

Yes…it is the problem with religion over spirituality even on this site.


Thank you for your thoughts! Adventism has always been in danger of favouring and preaching the “good news of being right” instead of the good news of the Gospel. People even get nervous, when someone points to the Gospel which should be at the center. They fear that in this case we Advenstist lose our right of existence, since that is what all other Christians do. Somehow our right to be God’s children and to belong to his church seems to be in danger if we are not exclusive and better in our understanding of the Bible than all other christians.
But this craving for being exclusive, being better is also a symptom…not a good one though.


Why celebrate Luther.Having read some of his rabid anti Semitic ravings I am convinced Luther did not know squat about Christianity.

I doubt the Holocaust would have happened without Luther and his ilk.

Pope Francis has more insight into true Christianity than Luther ever had and he is one of those {gasp} Catholics.


Carmen, you have masterfully described the church of the past and the dilemma faced today. The world has so vastly changed, yet there has been very real changes in Christianity.

As entrepreneurial businesses and programs develop overnight into huge corporations, the church is still operating on the same models established centuries ago. No longer is there a need for a huge corporate church administration with smaller ones throughout the world. What can the administration show for their continued and increased departments? They neither convert, baptize, or pastor a single member, yet their size and numbers increase exponentially, often at the price of fewer actual employees on the front lines.

It cannot be dismissed that in the large first world countries, organized religion is consistently losing members and affect on the world, and even increasingly on its own members. This is also true of the Adventist church: more are following their inner voices in choosing what personal beliefs are important and discarding the many beliefs which they were once taught were of ultimate importance.

The church has appeared to ignore the NAD and other attrition rates as long as the numbers are growing in the undeveloped world. But history has shown that these ties are often quite tenuous when compared to national and tribal roots.

The current average age of the Adventist members in these first world nations is 53. This is a clear indication that, like birth rates, those numbers will continue to decrease.

It is time for all religious leaders to seek to instill the simple idea Pastor Rick Warren has so successfully taught:

The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.”


Without Luther, the RCC Church might still be burning people at the stake, and copies of the Bible in one’s own language might be rare and illegal.

It serves no useful purpose to judge past generations by current norms and standards. We can always find fault with them. Luther did not have the corner on the market of antisemitism.

Abraham was a polygamist and tried twice to pass of his wife as a his sister; yet he is called the father of the faithful. David was an adulterer, a polygamist, and a murderer, and yet he was the ancestor of the Messiah, and a man after God’s own heart. Why? Because when confronted with his errors, he repented.

Luther did not have the light we have today. Your condemnation of him is unfair.

Yeah, the pope is playing good cop now; his predecessors often played bad cop. He is not to be trusted. The organization he leads is called the whore of Babylon in Scripture.

There will be another reformation. It’s called the Latter Rain. It will produce results similar to what happened on the day of Pentecost and shortly thereafter.


In this instance i am agreeing partially with blc birder. we come undone when we see David was a man after God’s own heart, or put another way, God was like David. everyone would probably agree David and Martin Luther were products of their environments.

something to keep in mind is while they had reprehensible views on Jews (Martin Luther) and a poor representation of God, (David) we can end up with them being used by God; not that they didn’t have a mind of their own. Lutherans may regard him as a prophet and if we agreed with verbal inspiration everything he did and said would be infallible and inerrant. i accept that God used both guys and they reflected an image of God; but it is a broken image where as Jesus being fully God/ fully human gives us an unbroken image of God.


On the Cusp of a Second Reformation?

Warring Christian armies and millions of deaths? Again? Really? Germany is said to have lost 40% of its population.

Aren’t we ready to have done with all this yet? Please don’t let’s be throwing around the word “authority” in the same sentence with “Christianity.” People get killed.

Speaking of which, Rick Warren appears to be up to his equivocating eyeballs in the virulent anti-gay politics in Africa. You can read about it lots of places.

He recently was interviewed by Sean Hannity, and Sean Hannity asked him, “Should we attack Iran?” And Rick Warren said, “Well, it’s our God-given obligation to take out evildoers.

Well, that’s what Dietrich Bonhoeffer thought too. Got himself hanged.

Actually, that’s what Robespierre thought too.

Well, it was for a good cause: liberty, equality, fraternity.

Do you expect that revolutions shall be made from rosewater?

The bloodbath that is Christian history suggests to me that something fundamental has been awry from the inception.

I think our present view of God has got to go. The unstated premises poison the well. It’s a non-starter.

I realize that will never sell.

But if Adventists don’t grapple with Euthyphro, down and dirty in the mud, they’ll have no more resistance to mad men than they had in Nazi Germany or Rwanda.

Things not lookin’ good for Adventism either way. Not gonna be much left.

I don’t believe God needs our special pleading, and far less does he need our hungry swords.



The Harvest of the Earth

So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

–Revelation 14:20

(See my PS below.)

Unto the Horses’ Bridles:

The distance of six hundred “furlongs” (Greek stadion) corresponds to 180 miles. If the phalanx averages a mile in width, the assumed two hundred million in the massed armies of the beast, with many animals as well, would barely have room to move. If the vast armies were to “explode” suddenly, the blood gushing out from man and beast would create a great trough of blood, draining up to the horse bridles in the valley center, like a great vat of grapes in a winepress bursting all at once. This same incredible scene was apparently seen in vision by some of the ancient prophets (note Isaiah 34:6; 63:1-4; Joel 3:12-13; Psalm 110:5,6).



The Inconsistencies of Martin Luther Before, During, and After the Peasants’ War
–Edouard Remy

Luther, never regretted nor took responsibility for the peasants’ massacre. He used a play of words to preserve his innocence: “I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said they should be slain; all their blood is on my head. But I cast it on our Lord God, who commanded me to speak in this way.”

This is Christian moral reasoning. 100,000 dead right there. God’s fault.

I think better of God.

PS: I’m not aware that biblehub.com is an SDA site (is it?), but it quotes The Great Controversy twice on the Revelation 14:20 reference material:


PPS: It’s hard for me to avoid drawing parallels between Martin Luther’s inflammatory rhetoric against the peasants (and the Jews!) and Jean-Paul Marat’s advice that five or six hundred more heads cut off would ensure the peace.

Whatever else these people were, they were rabble rousers.

And I can’t avoid drawing parallels between Marat’s murderer, Charlotte Corday, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Corday said, “I killed one man to save 100,000.”


How do we start a Second Reformation when we hold that the 2nd Angel’s message declares all other churches as “fallen.” Only one church is not fallen. All Sunday Christians are in danger of receiving the punishment of the 3rd angel’s message they “ must drink the wine of God’s anger…will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb…forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night.” Scary.

What will we do with EGW? Although she has contributed significantly in practical Christianity, she is out of step on many issues of diet and lifestyle. She condemns competitive sports, drinking tea and coffee, students cramming for tests, eating in between meals, and believed that we can be perfectly overcome all sin. She taught that Sunday laws, not inhumanity, neglect of the poor, or injustice, moves God to rain down the 7 last plagues—leaving the world in a post apocalyptic collapse.


I dont see a Second Reformation in the future of the Seventh day Adventist church.
I dont see a Second Reformation in the future of the Christian world.
Religious Sociologists DO SEE a Religious Awakening [the 4th in America] that has been happening for several decades now.
Seventh day Adventists never took advantage of the 3rd Awakening in the very late 1800 and early 1900s. SDAs are not taking advantage of the Awakening that began several decades ago. So probably will NOT.
At this point in time, SDAs do NOT have anything to offer those who are leaving Main-line churches and organizing their inter-denominational worshiping God groups, and attempting to become more Spiritually connected with God, than Religiously connected to God.
Seventh day Adventist worship is Religious, not Spiritual. And, in order to participate in most SDA worship groups, one HAS to be SDA Religious – tied to a set of 28 facts, tied to many observable behavioral practices, FIRST. Just loving God will keep one in the pews, NOT sharing.

From what I have seen the past 7 decades of membership, anyone who wants to bring in a SPIRITUAL program doesnt last long.
Persons who bring in a RELIGIOUS program are accorded seats of high honor, and receive tons of cold cash to continue their ministry.
Dont believe me? Just look around with eyes wide open and an alert mind.

NOTE-- We are looking for the Latter Rain. A time when there will be 1000’s coming into the Church. What we DO NOT understand is, WHEN all these people get inside the church doors, the Church is GOING TO CHANGE. A whole new group of STRANGERS are going to be there and will be helping to RUN the church along with the Old Guard. Will the OLD GUARD allow the Strangers to have shared POWER???


for a reformation to have traction and true power, it will need to be grounded in the bible, and at this point in the history of the church, an intelligent, revisited understanding of egw…i think what we’re waiting for now is a deepening of the polarization in the church we’re already seeing between those who live by inspiration and those who kind of do, but really don’t…we are really looking for the “falling away” in the church prophesied in
2 Thessalonians, which, when it hits rock bottom, will usher in the latter rain that will first reprove the church, and then warn the world, after which the end of all things will transpire in rapid sequence…i don’t see another cyclical reformation lasting another 500 yrs…

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I think it is time to shift our focus away from denominationalism, dogmatism, and other types of __isms.
Regardless of who we may be, the most relevant questions today are the same that were posed 2,000 years ago.
The problem is that many terms associated with salvation have become so commonplace that people don’t think about them anymore.
Another issue today is the almost nonexistent teaching and preaching about critical issues of the Christian faith, such a repentance.
Does the term, revival and reformation, inadvertently sugarcoats true repentance and the need to be born of God? Particularly, if it results in new “church programs” etc. etc.
To be truthful, I have never heard a single sermon in the Adventist church, or any other church for that matter, on the topic of being born again. The focus has been on doctrines.
Just think about it. If you were baptized, were you asked the question, “Have you repented of your sins and accepted Jesus Christ?” No. You were asked, "Do you believe in such and such doctrine?"
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Carmen, you have gently and wisely reminded us that there are lessons to be learned for all human organizations and cultures for all time, and not just the Catholic church, after the Reformation. We as Adventists have come to the famous “fork in the road”

We (the SDA Church) after San Antonio GC Session, need to learn that:

• Humans are imperfect. It helps to have accountability.

• All organizations, cultures, and communities need to periodically re-acquiant themselves with first principles. In the case of the Catholic Church that should have been be the Biblical text itself. The Word (aka the Bible) is the ultimate criteria for doctrine. The power of accountability provided by the ability to read the Bible is indeed a strong one.

• Sanctity of the individual conscience is a good thing. Salvation is through faith not personal merit. At the foot of the cross there is only level ground. All gender inequities are wrong and have no place in God’s church. Every true Christian is a new creature in Christ and will produce fruit, but that fruit is evidence of salvation, not the grounds of it. Essence precedes existence.

• Education is a good thing. Are we willing to pay for it? Can we handle teaching our youth to think clearly and authentically? “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world!” (Education, p. 271).

A bit too much hangdog pessimism, if you ask me, in the replies so far.

Consider secular violence in the twentieth-century. Consider Alexander “the Great.” Consider the Assyrians, who did not even have a word for “peace.” If Christendom has presided over many a bloodbath, so have pre- and anti-Christendom. Let’s keep this in mind, and then fasten our attention on the centrality of Christ in what Carmen is suggesting. The big problem is that with Constantine the story of the forgiving and non-violent Jesus began to recede from ordinary Christian consciousness; imperial values began to replace those of the Sermon on the Mount; bloodbaths ensued.

There is NO–precisely NO–bloodbath in the New Testament, and there is no story equal to the New Testament in passion for change AND commitment to non-violent regard for others. Churches like our own, suspicious, at least officially, of church-states alliances, are well positioned to lead a Second Reformation. Do some elements of our tradition amount to a betrayal of Christ? Do leaders who cling to fundamentalism also betray Christ? I think we must answer Yes. But that doesn’t justify overlooking the possibilities. Prophecy–criticism born of passion *for * the community–is what we need. Let’s all aspire to the prophetic role. If the Torah can express the wish that ALL God’s people be prophets, then we can hope to be prophets ourselves. Our whole community, not just one of the pioneers, can embody the spirit of prophecy.

Thanks, Carmen, for your essay.



Then there is not much hope of a reformation, is there?

As long as denominations insist on having a right of existence in separation from the whole of christendom, reformation will at best remain at best a nice word on paper or in the air. Civil war is killing the Church as surely as it is killing Syria. Refusing to acknowledge some of the other participants as legitimate is preventing healing in the Church equally as it is in Syria. Both situations also produce a mass exodus of people longing for a better land.

A good example of the problem.

Another example of the problem.

The latter rain, a concept vying for a top position in the contest of most misunderstood biblical image. The latter rain is the spring rain which does not follow the dry summer but the wet winter. It rains, then it rains some more which is the latter rain.

A true reformation would require a miracle.


Great article Carmen! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. This paradigm is evolving everywhere. Check out The New Copernicans, Nomad podcast and The Robcast to meet some challenging new friends. Grace and peace.

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