‘<i>Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda</i>’ Church renewal from a Reformed perspective

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies. 2015;71(3):e1-e5 DOI 10.4102/hts.v71i3.2875

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies

ISSN: 0259-9422 (Print); 2072-8050 (Online)

Publisher: AOSIS

Society/Institution: Reformed Theological College of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa, at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Pretoria, Pretoria (South Africa)

LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: The Bible | Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Practical Theology

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: Afrikaans, English, Dutch

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML

 

AUTHORS


Leo J. Koffeman (Church Polity and Ecumenism at the Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands; Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 15 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

With a view to the theme of church renewal, this article explores the role of a well-known and popular phrase in the Reformed tradition within Protestantism, that is, ecclesia reformata semper reformanda [‘the reformed church should always be reformed’]. Is this a helpful slogan when considering the possibilities and the limitations of church renewal? Firstly, the historical background of this phrase is described: it is rooted in the Dutch Reformed tradition, and only in the 20th century it was widely recognised in Reformed circles. Against this background the hermeneutical problem, linked with the principle of sola Scriptura, is presented, and put into an ecumenical ecclesiological perspective: the church is grounded in the gospel. Finally, the article focuses on church polity as an important field of renewal, taking into account Karl Barth’s interpretation of this phrase. From this perspective, a balanced and ecumenical approach of church renewal is possible.