05 (May 2013)

The Reformed Worldview

The Reformed Worldview
John Harris John Harris retired from the pastorate at Mirfield Evangelical Church in 2006.
30 April, 2013 2 min read

The Reformed Worldview

D Engelsma & H Hanko

British Reformed Fellowship

144 pages, £5.50

Star Rating: 1 stars

This book contains the six lectures given at the 2010 Conference of the British Reformed Fellowship held in Cardiff. The authors are Emeritus Professors at the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Michigan, USA. They begin by stating what they understand to be the Reformed worldview and then in subsequent chapters define a secular worldview covering the subjects of sin, abolition of truth (i.e postmodernism), attitudes to money, sex and the threat of a one-world government. The book concludes with a re-affirmation of the inerrancy of Scripture and a challenge to holiness.

Few of us would want to disagree with the main thrust of this book and the targets they aim at. The symptoms of the ‘worldview of man’ will be widely recognised — abortion, euthanasia, sexual licence and militant atheism. However the volume reveals another agenda — a concerted assault on the doctrine of common grace. This attack surfaces repeatedly throughout the book.

The classical defining of this truth maintains that God exercises a providential care over the whole of his creation, restrains sin and dispenses the beneficial blessings of advances in science and technology to all men. It is somewhat unfair to accuse indiscriminately all those who hold to this view of common grace that they are possessed of a romantic notion that in co-operation with an ungodly world they expect thereby to create a ‘Christian’ society and thence a ‘Christian’ nation along the lines of the Abraham Kuyper model. Furthermore the authors hold the advocates of this position to be responsible for dialogue with Roman Catholicism, universalism, women in ecclesiastical office and the destruction of the Christian Reformed Church in the USA. This blanket accusation is surely grossly overstating the case.

In my view this approach detracts from the value of the book and I suspect this theme will only resonate with a minority of readers. I hesitate to recommend it.

Nevertheless we must face the challenge thrown up in these pages to acknowledge our status as ‘strangers and pilgrims’ whilst engaging with the world around us and perhaps the book has some merit in reminding us of this.

John Harris


John Harris retired from the pastorate at Mirfield Evangelical Church in 2006.
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