Every few centuries Christianity must undergo a new reformation. By which I mean it must re-form itself. Re-formation is necessary to live in the tension of biblical authenticity and contemporary particularity. Re-formation is required if we are to embrace a synthesis of rootedness and relevance. Every few centuries Christianity must undergo a kind of reformational metamorphosis to regain its counterculture character.This is not something that happens often. I’m not referring to the periodic infusions of spiritual vigor or the cultural adaptations that are common to every generation. I’m speaking of something rare and seismic.

But I will dare to state that we live in such a time. I’m emphatic about this. We are living in a time of real reformation. It will do you little good to think of it as a throwback to some historic revival from the past three hundred years. That is rejuvenation and that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a real reformation. A radical rethinking of the nature of salvation and what it means to be a Christian. A radical reassessment of assumed paradigms leading to a re-formation of Christianity as we have known it.

This is what Martin Luther was involved with five hundred years ago. But it’s not that Reformation we need. Our own reformation will be as different as our own postmodern age is to the medieval Renaissance that provided the historical backdrop for the Protestant Reformation. The history of the Protestant Reformation is simply a way of understanding how thoroughgoing our own reformation will be. Exactly what our own reformation will end up looking like, I am uncertain. That we are in the beginning stages of a true reformation that will change the face of Christianity as dramatically as it was changed five centuries ago, of this I am certain. But wearing the throwback uniforms of Reformed theology is not the point at all. It’s not a reevaluation of the Westminster Confession that we need, but a reevaluation of our reading of the Gospels and the Epistles. We don’t need to do what Luther did, but we need to do like Luther did.

And it will take something on the order of Luther’s courage to do it.

One of the wisest things my father taught me was that the majority is almost always wrong.

Or as the Great Dane said it…

“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion — and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion…while Truth again reverts to a new minority.” -Soren Kierkegaard

The assumed truth of the Christian majority has over time grown stale and been subsumed by and conformed to the wider culture to the point that it is little more than the civic religion of public piety. Therefore it is time for truth to again be rediscovered by a new minority who will form the vanguard of a new reformation.

I tremble at the thought.

To live in such a time!

What about you?

Are you ready for reformation?

Can you handle re-formation?

Will you be able recognize it?

Will you dare to respond to it?

Will you be willing to change?

Behold, I am doing a new thing!
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
And streams in the wasteland
-Isaiah 43:19

“Unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of God.” -Jesus

“I advise you to buy from me ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.” -Jesus

Are you willing to be born again…again?

To rethink assumptions?

To take it from the top and rethink the nature of the kingdom of God like Nicodemus did?

Will you ask Jesus for new eyes so you can see?

So you can see what Jesus is doing and where he is doing it?

It may come as quite a shock.

Can you handle the shock?

This is what reformation requires.

The price of reformation is great.

The price of not reforming is greater still.

Where should you begin?

By identifying some of the reformation voices in our day.

Hint: There’s no such thing as a noncontroversial reformer.

Their prophetic untimeliness will assure the swirl of controversy.

Of course controversy alone does not a reformer make.

They need certain credentials.

Two of the most influential reformation voices in my life are N.T. Wright and Walter Brueggemann.

There are many others.

It’s way past midnight.

I’ll go to bed and dream of reformation.

Sola Veritas