What is Reformed Historical Theology?

August 25, 2023

Ministry is never done in a vacuum. Understanding where the church has been in the past is vital to understanding where it is in the present. Thus, every pastor, teacher, or counselor for the church must have knowledge of the heritage passed down from generation to generation. This is not to say that the creeds and confessions of men are as authoritative as Scripture. Yet it is short-sighted and against biblical wisdom to neglect the great advances and tragedies the church has experienced through the ages. Christ’s presence with his people, guiding them in truth, did not begin yesterday.

Since this is the case, a mere survey of church history will not suffice in training future church leaders. Our understanding of church history must be thorough. Idolizing those who came before us is not beneficial to training for pastoral ministry; we must highlight the strengths and weaknesses of our heritage. Prideful hindsight must also be challenged when studying church history—many sacrificed more than will ever be asked of us. It is through the faith and witness of our church fathers that we shall continue to follow the patterns of sound words and guard the good deposit handed to us.

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