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Whose Orthodoxy?

How to Define It and Why It's So Important

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We were baptized into Christ, not into Calvin. There is no such thing as a Reformed faith, but only a Christian faith to which our Reformed confessions bear witness.

Everywhere we turn today, "faith" has become an attitude in search of an object: you've got to believe in something. We hear a lot about "faith com-munities" as a genus of which particular religions are regarded as species; "faith perspectives," even "faith-based" political initiatives. Prince Charles has intimated that upon his succession to Britain's throne he plans to delete the definite article in his historic title, changing it from "Defender of the Faith" to "Defender of Faith." French deconstruction philosopher, Jacques Derrida, argued that a general "messianic consciousness" was important for keeping alive hope in the future, but that the announcement of the arrival of any particular messiah provokes violence and dangerous finality. In surveys of American adults, we routinely encounter a positive view of "spirituality" and a somewhat negative view of "religion."

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1 [ Back ] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1960), 12.
2 [ Back ] Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1949), 24.
3 [ Back ] Sayers, 24.
4 [ Back ] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith (New York: Doubleday, 1990), 158.
5 [ Back ] Chesterton, 157-58.
6 [ Back ] Chesterton, 30.
7 [ Back ] Chesterton, 31.
8 [ Back ] Chesterton, 32.
9 [ Back ] Chesterton, 74.
10 [ Back ] Chesterton, 75.
11 [ Back ] Chesterton, 75.
12 [ Back ] Chesterton, 75-76.
13 [ Back ] Chesterton, 103.
14 [ Back ] Illustrated London News (1924-04-19).
15 [ Back ] Lewis, 12.

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Michael Horton is the J. Gresham Machen professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California (Escondido, California), host of the White Horse Inn, national radio broadcast, and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He is author of many books, including The Gospel-Driven Life, Christless Christianity, People and Place, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, The Christian Faith, and For Calvinism.

Issue: "Beyond Nostalgia: The Risk of Orthodoxy" Sept./Oct. 2008 Vol. 17 No. 5 Page number(s): 14-19

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