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God's Not Mad at You
“What does it mean to be Reformed?”

“What does it mean to be Reformed?”

NOVEMBER 13, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / “What does it mean to be Reformed?”

Steve Brown:
What does it mean to be reformed? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Hey Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. You, you look like somebody that needs to be reformed.

Steve Brown:
I know, when people ask me that I tell them, reform school.

Pete Alwinson:
There it is. That’s it.

Steve Brown:
You went to reform school? Yeah man. And I put it on my credentials so that everybody will know I’m reformed. Actually, you know, what’s that statement that I wouldn’t suggest that you have to be reformed or Presbyterian to get to heaven, but why take a chance?

Pete Alwinson:
But why, I love it.

Steve Brown:
There are those who feel that way and we don’t and we’ll get to that question. And that was Pete Alwinson and you need to go to ForgeTruth.com so much good stuff on that website, life-changing stuff. So check it out and you’ll rise up and call me blessed for having told you about it. As you know, Pete comes in on Fridays and we’ve been doing this more years then some of you have been alive. And Pete comes in on Fridays and we spend the whole time answering questions. And by the way, we like to get your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, record your question and sometimes we put that on the air. You can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or in Canada

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us and Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, please do. And we’ll rise up and call your blessed. We will squeeze every dime for the glory of God. We’re a not for profit organization. You can charge it on your credit card. We are members of ECFA in the States and CCCC Canada, which means we’re handsome, bright and honest. And if you can’t help us, we certainly understand. But if you can please do and you’ll help others who can’t. Pete why don’t you lead us in prayer and then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Our great father, thank you that we can come to you today. And we begin this time of Q & A just coming into your presence and praising you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The one true God. And we thank you that you created us, that you sustain us, you provide for us, you redeemed us and you protect us every day. And Lord, we come to you, we honor you, we praise you. We know that because of Jesus, we are yours forever. So thank you for your grace, your mercy and the justification that we have in Christ. And now we just ask that as we move on in this weekend, that you would be with our pastors and our teachers and our leaders. Father, we’ve got a day of work still today on Friday, but this weekend we want to worship and we pray for our leaders, pray that you would give them the ability to bring us into your presence, to glorify your name, uphold them father, strengthen them, give them wisdom and help us to be good listeners and a great part of your body. And now we just commit this time of Q & A to you. We commit it in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Pete, this first question is an email. I sometimes hear you say that you were reformed. Does that have something to do with the reformation that took place in Europe about the same time as the printing press was invented? What do you mean by reformed?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Well, you’re the one that says it, so.

Steve Brown:
Well, it does, it refers to the reformation and the reformers who were a part of it. And there are a wide variety of views that are within that context of reformed.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
For instance, Luther and Calvin were both reformers and would be included in the word reformed, but they had some significant differences, as do other people within the body of Christ.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But reformed is like Armenian, like charismatic, like dispensational, all referring to her particular theological view. And when we say we’re reformed, We mean we’re right. And you’re wrong. That happens sometimes, doesn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
It does. It really does and some in our camp are so strident.

Steve Brown:
You know, I was in Texas a number of years ago, speaking at a banquet and a guy came out to the parking lot with me. He said, could I ask you a question? And I said, yeah. He said, why are you, Calvinist’s so mean? And I went from there to Charlotte North, this really happened, I went to Charlotte, North Carolina to speak for something else. And again, in the parking lot, a person came up to me and asked precisely, same words, the question again, why are you Calvinist’s so mean?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And I said, because we’re right and you’re wrong and you’re a heretic and we’re not, and we’re going to kill off everybody who doesn’t agree with us.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you know, it’s really interesting because you could find every, somebody in every Christian denomination and non-Christian, who takes it so, we take it very seriously. It’s life and death.

Steve Brown:
Sure.

Pete Alwinson:
But there’s an attitude sometimes, I found the truth. It set me free.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And any inkling of division apart from this truth is unacceptable.

Steve Brown:
That’s so true. And that’s, and then the self right, you know, the biggest problem in our country and in the church and in me is self-righteousness.

Pete Alwinson:
You’re right. We see it in politics all the time.

Steve Brown:
Oh, it’s everywhere.

Pete Alwinson:
Self-righteousness and intolerance,

Steve Brown:
I know.

Pete Alwinson:
for another opinion. And that’s partly because most people, these days do not believe that they are the problem, but that the problem is outside of them.

Steve Brown:
Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
If you understand that you’re a sinner and therefore fallible and not infinite, you could make a mistake.

Steve Brown:
Oh, wouldn’t it be refreshing if a preacher or a politician or your dentist said, look, I’m not perfect. I’ve made, yeah, I’ve probably done worse than even you know, but I’m doing the best I can.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
And I’m doing it for you. So vote for me, if you can. I’d vote for a guy like that or a lady like that.

Pete Alwinson:
Honesty and integrity. But, so I do think that, you know, you’re right about the self righteousness and all that, but basically back at the reformation, they also uncovered so much,

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
going back to Scripture.

Steve Brown:
And it’s a gift.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
It’s not a bludgeon that we hit somebody over the head with.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right.

Steve Brown:
What exactly would be some of the things that you would characterize as a reform?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I’d say, I’d say, well, a principle that we are reformed to the Scriptures

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
and that we are always in the process of needing ourselves to be reformed to the Scriptures.

Steve Brown:
That’s so true.

Pete Alwinson:
And that will never end until Jesus comes back. We got to keep growing. So at that principle of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, is so huge. Salvation by grace, through faith alone in Jesus Christ. And that’s a big unpackable statement there, but it really is cool. And then some principles about baptism in the churches really brings us back into the Bible.

Steve Brown:
And then God is really in charge.

Pete Alwinson:
Yes, that’s right.

Steve Brown:
Really in charge.

Pete Alwinson:
Sovereignty of God.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, and we don’t get a lot of voting in that,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
You know. So, those would be some of, and those are shared with a lot of different Christians.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
We do. I really do believe that these different views, I’ve learned a lot from my dispensationist brothers

Pete Alwinson:
oh yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
on this, so much. And I’ve learned so much from my Armenian Methodist brothers and sisters. And so much, well, we could just go on and on. I think we all get some of it wrong and we all get some of it right. And as we get together, as the family of God, we share the gift that God has given us. And I think we grow thereby. And when it turns into a self-righteous kind of thing, then we crossed the line.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
That isn’t very helpful.

Pete Alwinson:
At this point what we need is we need Christians getting into the word and, and having dialogue with one another, because our world stands so much against us, that we better stand shoulder to shoulder around Jesus.

Steve Brown:
We can’t afford to argue about the angels on the head of a pen. We, we really can’t man. And they hate us and we’ve got to stick together. Everybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus.

Pete Alwinson:
There it is, our family.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And when it gets scary, that becomes even more important. Speaking of which this is an email too. How can Protestant teaching be trusted since both Protestant and Catholic teaching come from the same foundation?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, it does come from the Scriptures and that really kind of brings us back to that reformational principle of Sola scriptura. And that’s where, you know, the process of Catholics they did, that was a big dividing point, but more and more, I think Catholics and Protestants are trying to center their conversations around scripture.

Steve Brown:
I agree.

Pete Alwinson:
And we need to.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, we really do. And, you say, well why, and you could ask the same question about denomination. If you worship the same Jesus. And you have the same Bible and you have the same heritage, how come you’re not in the same church?

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And, that’s probably a way that God allows us to be different. And differences are not bad. They’re good. When you start killing off the other side, that’s when you move into an area

Pete Alwinson:
There you go.

Steve Brown:
that certainly is not Christian.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right. You’ve moved out of the pale.

Steve Brown:
What do you think about the book of Enoch in the Apocrypha?

Pete Alwinson:
Hey, I have not read it.

Steve Brown:
No, I mean, come on. No, we don’t know a lot about it, but listen, with most reformed scholars, most Christian scholars who are not Catholic, they would say the Apocryphal books, and those are the ones that you find in your family Bible, sitting on the coffee table, and are considered authoritative by the Roman Catholic Church. But most Protestant scholars would say they’re helpful,

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
they teach some really cool things, but they’re not a part of the Canon.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
In other words, they’re not absolute scripture. And that would include Enoch.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right. And that’s a good point. It’s good pious literature, but not intended to be a source for doctrine, and probably not even practiced.

Steve Brown:
No, you’ve gotta be careful.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
When you, I mean, there are a lot of, I had a professor at graduate school who said that C.S. Lewis ought to be included in the Canon. And I, and I thought maybe next you’ll be asking that Hitler be included in the Canon. So there’s a strict standard, and we got to stay by it. We got to go. Key Life to this little listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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