Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Book review: A Heart for Reformation

This book A Heart for Reformation by C. Matthew McMahon (which can be bought here) is indeed a very interesting book on the topic of Individual and Church Reformation. All of us are to strive towards growth and reformation in our individual lives, and in the life of the Church, and in this McMahon has written an excellent book in this regard.

As such, I have written a review of the book here, and here are some excerpts from the book itself:

No one wants to hear that they way they "do" religion is wrong, and people certainly believe that their individual experiences with God should be just that — an individual experience. However, individual experience does not and cannot determine the manner in which sinners should approach Him. Let the record be set straight — God determines the manner in which sinners are to approach Him, and the Bible was given to His people that they might know the truth on the matter. Only the truth will set men free to worship God rightly, and live before Him in integrity. It is not enough for people to simply hear what they want to hear, rather, they must conform to what God commands. (p. 48)

And a pertinent word for "Reformed Christians" so-called:

Second, with the neglect comes the sin, because Reformed Christians, who hold the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purest expression, have this tendency to shout out, "I'm Reformed... so I am okay." Why is it that many people see the Reformed Christians as the frozen chosen? They have knowledge, but they do not seem to have a tendency to share it openly, or be as excited and evangelistic as the Arminian or Socinian or Liberal heretic who doesn't have the truth and yet ‘ holds to a zeal without knowledge. The greatest abuse of the means of grace are by those who know those means best — the Reformed Christian. It cannot be argued that the Gospel is most carelessly believed by those who know it the best. Reformation theology can cause Christians to become like the Jews of old. "I'm a Calvinist," and "I'm Reformed..." That is good, but that does not ensure a Christian's growth in Christ. It will not maintain or advance their growth in Christ. Sanctification is only effectual by the operation of the Holy Spirit upon them while partaking of the means of grace with a whole heart. Reformed Christians, then, arguably more than others, should be told to "Amend your ways and doings..."

Reformed Christians, all Christians, should be demonstrating a theology put into right practice empowered by the Spirit — walking in the Spirit. It is then that all will see true biblical reformation in the mind and hearts as individual Christians, and as a collective unified covenanted community. Mortification of sin and new life in the new man day by day is not won simply by knowledge. It must be knowledge that has been formed into practice and is ignited by the spiritual power of the Spirit of God. (p. 69-70)

All in all, this is a very good book. I highly recommend it to all those who desire reformation in their lives and in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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