God Does Not Help Those Who Help Themselves Or Why The Reformation Still Matters

“With the rise of the Modern missions movement in the 18th century and with the rise of the modern Pentecostal movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Reformation doctrine of sola Scriptura remains relevant. The history of Modern missions (since the 18th century) is replete with examples of unverified claims of apostolic-like direct revelation or other sorts of quasi-apostolic miracles and wonders. On this see B. B. Warfield,  Counterfeit Miracles (1918). The patterns that he observed a century ago have only intensified with the growth of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movements. The claim that Muslims are receiving dreams, visions, and apparitions of the risen Lord is a part of the culture of Modern missions and especially of Modern Charismatic and Pentecostal piety. We are not obligated to accept these claims, which are almost always second or third-hand accounts.”

(R. Scott Clark – Abounding Grace) Sometimes when we talk about the Reformation we give or receive the impression that it was purely a historical event with no continuing relevance or even that Reformation is one thing and mission is another….

Here is an episode that illustrates wonderfully the continuing relevance of the Reformation in several respects. On September 19, 2019 The Christian Post ran an article recounting a story told at a recent conference by a church planter in the Middle East. According to the story, recounted by the church planter, the Lord Jesus has personally visited a man to reveal to him directly the gospel of John. The story goes on to repeat the claim that a great number of Muslims are being converted to the Christian faith through dreams and direct revelations of the Lord. The church planter is quoted as saying, “‘I learned a valuable lesson: God will do his part, but we still have to do ours,’ he added.

AGR is not posting a direct link to the article, however, because it is illustrated with a violation of the second commandment of God’s holy law but the article and the story it contains is great illustration of the continuing relevance of the Reformation for missions. View article →