Minister's Blog

Reformed Catholicity - study day in Oxford

If the previous Greystone Theological Institute conference is anything to go by, this forthcoming event on Reformed Catholicity with Dr Mark Garcia will be a mind-stretching blast. Well worth coming along if you're free. Check out the details here. Extracts from the blurb below:

Combining lectures, open seminar discussion of texts and ideas, fellowship, and feasting, this Greystone Study Day event will explore select historical, biblical, and theological features of Reformed catholicity. From Ignatius and Irenaeus to the place of the biblical canon and the Eucharist in Reformed theology, this event provides an opportunity to recover and refine principles necessary for the advance of Reformed theology and ministry.

'Catholicity' is an often-misunderstood term, and 'Reformed catholicity' sounds to many like a contradiction, but in fact the early and formative voices of Reformed Protestantism were persuaded the life and health of the Church depends on its catholicity in Protestant, not Roman Catholic, terms. Further, while Reformed catholicity is regularly presented only as a form of retrieval, it should also be recognized as a biblically-shaped mode of constructive theology. In recent decades, developments in the 'theological interpretation of Scripture,' 'canonical hermeneutics/theology,' and advanced research into the texts and figures of post-Reformation Reformed theologians and confessions have returned the question of Reformed catholicity to the attention of the Church. New efforts include a considered zeal:

  • to retrieve the best of the patristic and medieval traditions which the Reformation renewed;
  • to reconsider the Reformed catholic efforts of bodies such as the Regensburg Colloquy and Westminster Assembly as well as figures such as Martin Bucer, Richard Hooker, William Perkins, John Williamson Nevin, and Herman Bavinck; and
  • to renew the Church's practical commitment to the Bible as Holy Scripture and christologically-determined canon, rather than mere historical artifact or source material.

Advances in responsible models and commendations of catholicity in theology are plentiful and varied, and some of the most promising ideas proceed not only from scholarly voices across the disciplines in our own day but also through premodern and orthodox Reformed contributions. These and other shifts in scholarship—especially work on canon, the rule of faith, the nature of history, and pneumatology—place us in an enviable position of great opportunity. This module argues for the nature and the importance of Reformed catholicity, and charts the way forward for further development.

Where does victimhood come from?

An article by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning entitled “Microaggression and Moral Cultures” goes a long way to explaining the background to, and the implications of, the culture of victimhood that has in recent years increasingly come to dominate public discourse. Originally published in Comparative Sociology (Vol.13, No.6, pp.692-726), a version of it can be found free on...

Celebrating the Reformation in London

The good folks at Selhurst Church in South Norwood, London, were kind enough to let me know about a forthcoming conference marking 500 years since the Reformation. It's on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August, and features Dr James White as the main speaker. Well worth a look if you're free. All the details online at

Repent of your ingratitude

Jordan Peterson is the latest of many people to point out the astonishing ingratitude of the millennial generation. Click here for an example of what I'm talking about (skip to about the 9 minute mark). ...

Exploring baptism

We have a baptism service this coming Sunday, which gives us an opportunity to think again about the meanng of this important moment in our lives. Here's an extract from the order of service at that point, explaining what baptism is all about, followed by some of the discussion whestions we'll be following during the discussiomn after the service: ...
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