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Reformed or Reforming: Which Way Are We Looking?

As Reformed Christians we are often asked by those outside the Reformed Faith, "What is Reformed?" A variety of short answers are available, most of which emphasize some relation to the sixteenth century European Protestant movement and its theology. But what do we think of ourselves when we attribute the term Reformed to ourselves and our churches? There is a temptation for some of us to romanticize this period of history and to think of it as our ideal, especially as it manifested itself in the Puritan movement. The problem with this tendency to think of the term reformed as old and past tense is that it can lead twentieth century Reformed Christians to a somewhat distorted view of the current goals of the church.