Reformed Reflections

From the Pastor's Desk 1980-1989

Distinctions Do Matter

In 1963, after I had completed my studies in the Netherlands, I returned to Canada by boat. A boat trip gives a passenger ample opportunity to have some interesting conversations. I recall a talk with a fellow Christian, who said that denominational and doctrinal differences should matter no longer. We live in a secular, pluralistic society. It is tough enough just to be a Christian. Was he right? To be a Christian in a Secular world is tough! But distinctions still do matter. For example why are we Calvinist? With evangelical Christians of every stripe we teach that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without rebirth; we can only become right with God through faith and grace alone (Eph. 2: 8-10). But here comes the distinction. A Calvinist does not only rejoice in his salvation, but also claims the sciences, the arts- all of life for Christ the King. And this holistic thinking is making an impact amongst evangelical Christians. Robert Booth Fowler, in his book, A New Engagement: Evangelic a Political Thought 1966-1976, remarked that the Reformed Church has an influence far beyond its numbers through its literature and scholarship. A Calvinist does not start with man and his conversion, he has God's rights in mind. He seeks to realize as his ruling concept in life the truth of Scripture: ''Of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Whom be glory forever" (Romans 11:36).