Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's OK to Fix It, But Only If It's Broke

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that our churches need to be "always reforming" I would have, like, two dollars probably.

Think about this slogan for just a moment. According to this view, if our churches are not tweaking their theology always, then they're not living up to the spirit of the Reformation. Excuse me, but does it not seem a tad irresponsible to be constantly altering our theological formulations for no good reason?

Now of course, our confessions are not divinely inspired (though they are authoritative), and if or when the Bible demands a modification in our system of doctrine, we had better make the change.

But how often does something like this happen?

If you ask me, it's not every day that we make an exegetical quantum leap. Since the seventeenth century, I'd say that men like Geerhardus Vos, Herman Ridderbos, and Meredith Kline have significantly forwarded our theological conversation in ways that further, but do not contradict, our confessional orthodoxy. And when faithful and compelling exegesis demands we adapt, then by all means, let us adapt.

But I have no interest in "always reforming" for the sake of being innovative. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," as the fella said.