Eddie and Sue Arthur

A New Reformation?

Church historians sometimes downplay one of the key planks of the Protestant Reformation; the use of indigenous languages in Bible study, worship and disciple making. A great deal is made of the theological influence of Luther, Calvin et al, but language gets much less attention.

However, the Reformation both encouraged and depended on the use of the indigenous languages of Northern Europe. The increasing number of translations of the Bible, prayer books and hymnals encouraged an increase in theological thinking which solidified the break with Rome and led to distinctive expressions of Christianity across the region. The Reformation was not just a theological event it was a cultural and linguistic event too.

Today, we are living through an explosion in Bible translation and indigenous Christianity which dwarfs the Reformation. I wonder what the theological fallout will be from this as people start to read the Scriptures in their own language and apply them to their own situations. I also wonder what side of things the historic Reformed churches will find themselves.

Just thinking.

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