Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Reformed Spirituality

No, this is not an oxymoron....

The more I read (and contribute to) the Phoenix Preacher blog, the more I realize how distinct Reformed piety is from evangelical spirituality.

And when you think about it, why shouldn't it be? If our practice results, in some measure, from our theology, then it would stand to reason that if Reformed and evangelical beliefs are different, their respective practices would differ to the same extent.

Evangelical spirituality is largely detached from the ministry of the local church, and in some cases these are understood to be in direct conflict. Evangelicals love Christ the Head, but they're ambivalent about his Body, the Church (except when seen as a place where individuals can gather to encounter God in the same room).

Reformed spirituality, on the other hand, cannot abide such decapitation. It is in the Church's ministry of Word and Sacrament that the believer finds the grace that he needs to continue trudging through this wilderness on his way to glory.

For my own part, all the quiet time in the world cannot replace the faithfully preached Gospel, the bread and the cup, and the communion of saints each Lord's Day.

Or as the Puritans put it, echoing David: "The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob!"