Re: “Evangelicals and the Evangel Future”

Jan Novak
MR Editors
Friday, July 1st 2022
Jul/Aug 2022

March/April 2022

I’m a new subscriber to Modern Reformation, and I would first of all like to thank you for this edifying Reformed theological journal. Second, I’m writing in response to “Evangelicals and the Evangel Future” by Michael Horton. While I feel the article is spot on with its assessment, I do have a suggestion. Whenever the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification is mentioned, there is often failure to mention that the Lutheran World Federation, which represented the Lutheran party to the Joint Declaration, is largely the liberal wing of Lutheranism, along with large participating bodies such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). The conservative orthodox bodies within Lutheranism, such as the Missouri (LCMS) and Wisconsin (WELS) Synods, among others, stood staunchly against it. I only bring this up as I believe congregants need to be better educated on the doctrines and actions of their denominations in hopes that they will be more discerning in their choices for their church. God’s blessings to you all! —Jan Novak

Modern Reformation would like to welcome Jan as a new subscriber and thank her for these comments. She is absolutely correct that many of the conservative Lutheran bodies did not affirm the Joint Declaration. And not only conservative Lutherans, but other confessional Protestant denominations released responses. Even the Vatican, as Dr. Horton noted in his essay, claimed that while the Joint Declaration represents “significant progress,” the Catholic Church is “of the opinion that we cannot yet speak of a consensus.” Dr. Horton certainly did not intend to blur intra-confessional lines among the Lutherans, nor was the point in his essay to say that all Lutherans, Reformed, Anglicans, Methodists, and Baptists signed on to the supposed consensus. Rather, his point was that too many did and too quickly (whether more progressive or conservative). There were, as Jan rightly notes, both Protestants and Catholics who did not. Over the years, MR has often discussed the Joint Declaration and issues of ecumenism. In particular, readers may peruse the September/October 1998 and March/April 2002 issues of the magazine. Thank you, Jan, for this clarification. MR editorial team

Friday, July 1st 2022

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