Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology

Reformed Sanctification

by Dr. M. James Sawyer

Sinclair Ferguson has observed: "Most evangelical theology in the English speaking world can be seen as an exposition of, deviation from, or reaction to Reformed Theology." Hence as we look into the question of Protestant understandings of the Spiritual life one must first grasp the fountainhead of Protestant Spirituality. Reformed theology, it is often charged, emphasizes the intellectual side of the Christian faith at the expense of the personal relationship with God. This is in fact a gross caricature. Even a cursory glance at the writings of Calvin, John Owen, Thomas Hooker, john Cotton, George Whitefield, C.H. Spurgeon, D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield and Francis Schaeffer reveal a profound concern with the subject of sanctification. In fact one of the hallmarks of Reformed theology is its insistence that faith and life are inseparable partners, and that any attempt to divorce the two results in a perversion of Christianity. The title of Francis Schaefferís magnum opus How Should we Then Live? Reflects this joining. The Then refers of course to the biblical teaching, or more specifically in light of Reformed Theology.

Dr. M. James Sawyer, Ph.D. has taught Theology, Church History and Historical Theology for nearly thirty years. He currently serves as Professor of Theology at Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary, Guam.

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