For a Continuing Church: A Review, Part One

Allkirk Network


Introduction: Identity and Reformation

“Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.”[1]

Wisdom, according to John Calvin, requires an accurate self-assessment. That Calvin sets this assertion at the very head of his magisterial Institutes shows that the calling to have accurate self-knowledge is integral to the task of reformation. This self-assessment – about our past condition, our present temptations, and our aspirations for spiritual health – ultimately hinges on the question of Christian identity: who are we in Christ? Failure to grasp this foundation of Christian identity eventually belies a distorted knowledge of God, which unravels all hopes for true wisdom. This is true of individuals and of institutions. Any institution worth its salt will regularly reflect on its fidelity to its identity. History is replete with anecdotes of failed institutions, from companies…

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