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Generously Reformed

By November 29, 2016 No Comments

by Chuck DeGroat

I’m grateful for this opportunity to appeal to readers of The Twelve to give generously so that Perspectives and The Twelve can continue to provide what I call a generously Reformed vision for life and faith. Let me explain what I mean by this.

I’ve had the privilege of ministering and teaching in a variety of places (Orlando, Florida; San Francisco, California; and Holland, Michigan) and ecclesial contexts. While most of my work has been within more traditionally Reformed and evangelical contexts, I’ve also spent some time among the Anglicans and taught courses for a very progressive Bay Area seminary in the PCUSA tradition.

It’s fascinating to me to see how people unite around particular doctrines or issues within these contexts, and it’s fascinating to hear how each understands what it means to be “Reformed.” Many years ago I thought I was in a tradition that had a bead on what it meant to be Reformed.

But thanks to Perspectives and The Twelve I was invited into a broader community of Reformed folks who, to be honest, think quite differently on a range of issues but unite around the essentials. I discovered the power of unity-in-diversity, and am convinced the Reformed tradition is better for the dialogue.

The in-print and online presence of these publications provide a much needed voice in a polarized church today. There are publications and blogs on the left and right that, in my estimation, serve as echo chambers for the already convinced. But the broad array of thoughtful writers you hear from here live into a rich, diverse, alive tradition which believes that unity does not mean uniformity, and that conversation is key. The writers see themselves as conversation partners, not dogma dispensers. And my experience is that they are committed to doing the hard work of community required of generously Reformed folks like us. Indeed, they are pointing the way to faithful community, to generosity, and to Jesus.

So give. And give generously. Recognize the rarity of this, the gift of this, the opportunity in this, especially now. We need generously Reformed voices not given to moralistic maxims and reactive rants. And pass on the generosity by telling others about these resources. Thanks, in advance, for your gifts!

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Chuck DeGroat teaches pastoral care and counseling at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.


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