From Crossway: the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null on “Why We Need Reformation Anglicanism”
Crossway Books is releasing a new book titled Reformation Anglicanism: A Vision for Today’s Global Communion. (It is edited by Ashley Null and John W. Yates III, with contributions from Michael Jensen, Ben Kwashi, Michael Nazir-Ali, Ashley Null, and John W. Yates III.) Associated with this release, they have posted the essay Why We Need Reformation Anglicanism, by Dr. Null, and it is very much worth reading. Here is an excerpt:
Why Should We Care about the English Reformation?
The two greatest issues facing Christianity in the West are (1) the Bible’s growing lack of authority in the Church, and (2) the lack of transformed lives among those who attend. The same two issues confronted English Christians in the early sixteenth century. The medieval catholic church had rejected the Gospel’s offer of free pardon, teaching instead its own system of rules so that a person, in effect, had to earn forgiveness, even if a person very much needed God’s help to accomplish that task. Yet, at the same time, so many people were failing to lead the holy lives necessary for salvation, especially the clergy and those in religious orders, that the Christian faith itself was being brought into disrepute daily.
The English Reformers confronted both issues head-on, because they realized that that both were intrinsically linked. The unbiblical teaching of the medieval church had led Christians to lead inauthentic human lives. Only loving God more would give people the power to say no to sin, but only the preaching of God’s unconditional love made known in salvation could birth in people that kind of transforming love. By teaching people that they had to earn God’s love by first being good enough, the medieval catholic church had actually cut people off from the only source that could change them from the inside out. The Reformers, however, recovered Paul’s teaching on justification, that God justified the wicked (Rom. 4:5) through faith in the promise of unconditional pardon because of the cross of Christ. The English reformers taught justification by faith because only gratitude for the free gift of salvation would birth in Christians a love for God and a godly life.
This should make you want to read the whole post!