On this year’s Reformation Day commemoration, I would like to share an article that I recently read in the November 2014’s issue of the Tabletalk magazine.
I’d like to share this article so that we can have a good understanding of the historical background of the phrase “Semper Reformanda” that has often been abused and misused by so many people, mostly the liberal Christians.
The article is titled Semper Reformanda in its Historical Context by Dr. W. Robert Godrey, president and professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary California. The article is available in its entirety online, so you can read the whole article yourself. Below are the first two paragraphs of the article.
BOQ: (Beginning of Quote)
Semper Reformanda in its Historical Contexts
The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes. Scholars have traced its origins to a devotional book written by Jodocus van Lodenstein in 1674. Van Lodenstein, no doubt, had no intention of being a phrase-maker or sloganeer. What was his intention, and what did he mean by this phrase?
Van Lodenstein was a minister in the Reformed Church of the United Provinces in what we know today as the Netherlands. This church was born of decades of faithful preaching by ministers—many educated in Geneva—who risked their lives to carry the gospel, first into the French-speaking regions of the Low Countries, and later into the Dutch-speaking regions farther north. Some ministers were martyred for their faith, but they gathered a rich harvest of committed believers. Their message of the need for the reform of the church according to the Bible resonated with many who saw the corruptions of the old church.
EOQ (End of Quote)
(click on the link below to continue reading: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/semper-reformanda-its-historical-context/ )