that he is committed to the battle cries of the Protestant Reformers, either to
. Signs everywhere indicate that evangelicals aredisowning the heritage bequeathed to them by their Reformation forebears. Andthe church is none the better for it, prompting some to say we are entering a newDark Ages (R.C. Sproul,
What Ever Happened to the Reformation?
, xi).Amazingly, many evangelicals (i.e., “protestants”) are making efforts to join hands withRoman Catholics and heal the severance caused by the historical Reformation of the1500’s. Why? Again, the two leading influences are the church’s confusion andcontamination. James Boice notes:So what is wrong with evangelicals? The answer is that we have become worldly.We have abandoned the truths of the Bible and the historic theology of thechurch, which expresses those truths, and we are trying to do the work of God bymeans of the world’s “theology,” wisdom, methods, and agenda instead (JamesMontgomery Boice,
Here We Stand: A Call from Confessing Evangelicals
, 9).In other words, the church’s confusion about doctrine and the authority of the Bible,coupled with moral compass that points to the ways of the world, have created a climatesimilar to pre-Reformation Europe.But the saddest part of this tragedy is that the church has been willingly led downthis path by those who call themselves Evangelicals. The Ecumenical movementrepresented in the World Council of Churches, the “Evangelicals and Catholics Together”movement, the “Cooperative Evangelism” movement encouraged by the Billy GrahamAssociation, and the advent of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, have publicly distancedthemselves from the Reformation. And as such have denied the distinctives that make a protestant and “
ant.”In order to fully perceive the magnitude of the problem, we need to first revisit the prison that existed before the Reformation.
I. Revisiting the Prison
Religious and political historians agree that the sixteenth century produced themost important event in Western Civilization. It was a series of regional and nationalreforms that created unprecedented cultural, social, economic, and political changes, andfor obvious reasons, it has been called the Reformation.The Reformation had been subject to a variety of interpretations over the last four hundred years, but the most important insight to understand the Reformation is that iswas, at its core, a theological enterprise.The theological significance of the Reformation was decisive. The Patristic periodof church history (i.e., the first couple of hundred years after the death and resurrection of