In this Issue

Ryan Glomsrud
Friday, December 17th 2010
Jan/Feb 2011

We are thrilled to bring you the first issue of our 2011 series on the Great Commission. All this year we will move through Jesus' sending of the disciples as we find recorded in Matthew 28. Our decision to take up this topic was an organic one, growing out of a natural progression from "Guilt" to "Grace" and finally "Gratitude," to borrow categories from the Heidelberg Catechism. In the recent past we have discussed "Christless Christianity" ("Guilt") and the "Gospel-Driven Life" ("Grace")," but now we take up in all its detail the "Great Commission" ("Gratitude").

Our editor-in-chief Michael Horton sounds the first trumpet blast with his usual eloquence and persuasiveness, bringing us right to the heart of the message we want to communicate for a modern reformation of our churches. The Great Commission must begin with Jesus' Great Announcement. Next, Kim Riddlebarger, White Horse Inn cohost, and Michael Kruger, New Testament professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, each tackle the fascinating connections between eschatology (the study of last things, sometimes called more colloquially the "end times") and the Great Commission. In a very real sense, missions is a matter of spreading the word about the kingdom. These authors help us learn that the kingdom theme provides the infrastructure of Jesus' mission and ministry, as well as our present place in the growing of the kingdom’where we are situated on the map of redemptive history. Later, Graeme Goldsworthy explains in our exclusive interview that the kingdom of God is one of the Bible's unifying themes that can help believers understand the big picture story from Genesis to Revelation. This is evident especially in Jesus' post-resurrection ministry and in the life of the early church, a conclusion that is ably presented in the first installment of our yearlong series by Dennis Johnson, "Studies in Acts."

Regular contributor John Bombaro of Grace Lutheran Church develops these insights in "The Mission Statement: 'Go Into All the World.'" He strikes a Lutheran note that will encourage evangelicals to consider that even though evangelism is a task that belongs to all of us, Jesus didn't necessarily exhort every believer as much as commission his disciples, namely, duly appointed church leaders. Lawrence Rast, Jr. then supplies another of our yearlong series: a retrospective and prospective look at missions in various denominations. Finally, Michael Horton offers the first of a series of platforms that we want to lay out in each issue as part of our effort to build an evangelical consensus. The first action item is the recovery of the "solas" of the Reformation. Only this can help us avoid what is sometimes called "mission creep." By the end of the year, these six positions will help us generate momentum for a modern reformation.

By now you will have noticed a few changes to the look and feel of MR. We are fast approaching our twentieth anniversary, and to that end we will tackle even more issues and challenges that stand at the crossroads of the Reformation and contemporary evangelicalism, in more depth and detail’and always with pastoral sensitivity. In addition to our thematic "Feature" articles and "Articles Aside," both mainstays of the magazine, we now want to build out a third part of the magazine called "The Latest Ideas Sweeping the Land"’a phrase taken from the White Horse Inn radio prologue. This expanded section will include the dialogues, debates, and discussions for which we are well known, along with a new and improved book reviews section. Very few things in evangelicalism have a shelf life of twenty months much less twenty years, and we are pleased to have the support of a wide and enthusiastic readership. We aim to be a much-discussed, trend-spotting, faith-defending publication and hope you will benefit from our Reformation advocacy for another twenty years. Please share us with all of your friends and family in the New Year!

Ryan Glomsrud
Executive Editor

Friday, December 17th 2010

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

Picture of J. Ligon Duncan, IIIJ. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
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