Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? by James Montgomery Boice * THE HUNGARIAN PUBLISHER’S DEDICATION AND REMARKS

Every October we commemorate the Reformation.  It is to be feared, however, that here in Hungary, in spite of an insistence upon this custom, many evangelical Christians have turned a blind eye to what it really means.  They have not pondered very deeply the following questions: What was the Reformation about?  What were its watchwords?  What were those reformational teachings which once shook the church and the world?  What do they mean for us today?  Can they bring about any kind of palpable change?  To what extent do they exert an influence—if at all—on the methods we assume are acceptable in our various denominational and congregational programs, and in our mission strategies?  What should a reformational vision and world-view be like?  To what extent are we characterized by this mentality?  What kind of mission ought the Christian who holds to a reformational viewpoint have in the 21st century?  In what way ought this manifest itself?  Do we enforce the teachings of the Reformation in our personal and congregational life?  In what way have we translated those beautiful doctrines into life and practice?  Could it be that we have forgotten the glorious inheritance we have in the Word of God?

If we do not have firm and clear answers to these preliminary questions, it is possible that we have lent a helping hand to those who have twisted Christianity into an unusable ideology, robbing God of His glory, and, at the outset, making it impossible to declare Soli Deo Gloria with a good heart!  If this is the case, we need immediate change, a change in our individual and congregational life!  How and where, then, can we begin this reformation?

Dr. James Montgomery Boice’s book provides us with excellent help in this since he deals directly with the above questions and does so in a consistently biblical way.  He begins with an objective and biblical assertion, goes on to unmask false therapies, and finally lays before us the real solutions.  He enables us to see that the well understood and, above all, the well applied Sola’s[1]—the gospel of grace—not only proffer theoretical solutions, but have the power to bring about biblical renewal and reformation.

Dr. James Montgomery Boice is well qualified to speak on all these matters since he regarded the spread and application of reformational theology as his calling to the end of life.  He also played a significant role in the preparation of the Cambridge Declaration[2] which was drafted in April, 1996 and gradually became known worldwide.  So the author is not a person who has contrived these thoughts in an ivory tower of theoretical theologizing, but who has made use of his experiences in the hustle and bustle of his weekday congregational work and life.  He knows what he is talking about!

For our part, therefore, only two things are required to peruse this book with spiritual benefit.  First of all, we need humility to reflect on what is written in the following pages and confront the real state of affairs in our churches.  Secondly, we need courage to throw ourselves upon God as we undertake our reformational mission and as we make a change in these lamentable spiritual conditions! If we do not put on this humility and courage, we cannot pride ourselves in being the spiritual heirs of the Reformation!

Someone may ask, “Is the situation so serious?”  Yes, it is!  It is already very late, but perhaps the Lord will have mercy upon us!  It is late because in Hungary , the responsibility demanded by the Reformation has been put off for many decades, if not for centuries!  If the decline and secularization of American evangelical Christianity has filled the author with anxiety, how much more should this sobering message be a trumpet sound for us!  Yes, for us, since Hungarian Christianity is in many respects far behind that spiritual adulthood which God, who has been so gracious to us, might have expected of us!  We add to this also that our negligence over centuries has overtaken us today, so the general picture is not very encouraging.

Today’s State of Affairs and Its Spiritual Panorama

It is common knowledge, yet it must be asserted that the decline of European Christianity, as we see it today, is sadly worse than anyone might have thought.  We do not wish to give particular details or prove the truth of this here.  We do emphasize, however, what is even sadder, that Hungarian Christianity is no exception to this tendency.  What is more, it is a champion in this decline.  All this is happening in a land which was once seen as the illustrious fortress of Protestantism and Calvinism.  Unfortunately, only was!  For today’s Protestants, rather than protesting, are assimilating and being assimilated into the world around them.  The erosion of their views is more and more conspicuous.  Moreover, Hungarian Calvinists are like rare white ravens.  With few exceptions, we find them only on the pages of history.

We know that these are not flattering words.  But truth comes before politeness and popularity.  When we candidly analyze Hungary ’s state of affairs, we must assert that Protestant Christianity has for a long time been cruising at a spiritual low.  This is especially true in the case of the national churches, but more and more can this also be said of the small neo-Protestant denominations.  The pure gospel is hardly preached; converts are not given biblical teaching; attendance at worship services is continually decreasing; the world-view of allegedly converted Christians hardly differs from that of their unbelieving fellow-citizens.  In the end, the effective influence of Christianity upon society is minimal.  Why?  Because they have forgotten the gospel of grace, biblical theology and—whether consciously or not—have followed the wisdom of the world, have accepted its “doctrines” and made use of its methods.  Furthermore, and this is astonishing, what is occasionally preached in word, is rarely applied in deed.  In brief, the gospel and its power are denied.  An alliance has been made with falsehood instead of drawing a line against it. (2 Tim. 2:19)

And if this were not enough, today’s culture, saturated with the world and all its isms, has taken Christianity captive.  Nor have one and half decades of “freedom” been favorable to the cause of the gospel.  Rather, they have placed Christianity under a new pressure to which it has unfortunately capitulated.  More and more, the agenda of the world is determining the agenda of the churches.  And this has resulted in dangerous changes.  Christianity in our country examines the range of secular ideologies and the range of political, social, economic and ecological developments with an argus eye, thinking that its chief task is to give humanist answers to the humanist challenges of the present age.  More and more the theme of conferences is the relationship between the churches and civil society.  Less and less is it the relationship of the church to Scripture, or rather, the church to God.  More and more it is the social mission of the church, and less and less is it God’s true gospel to sinners who are dying in their sins.

The consequences of this fatal change of view are already here.  On the whole, liberal denominations have become even more secularized, and—according to the finding of our book—nothing other than proprietors over a great corporation which must be managed and developed.  In line with their new identity they specialize in rendering services: they baptize, confirm, conduct marriages and perform burial ceremonies.  Meanwhile they are continually broadening their supply of services.  It has become more and more frequent to hear of concerts, music recitals, charity events and balls, all of which, with regard to organization, come under ecclesiastical auspices.  At the same time they forget their true mission: the salvation of souls, the building of the kingdom of God , and the upholding of His righteousness.  Consequently, among their nominal membership, there is complete ignorance and uncertainty in matters of the faith.  This situation is generally disguised as more and more complicated liturgies are introduced, and as more and more spectacular social programs are organized.

What can be said about this kind of new setting?  On a human level, it may be possible to appreciate some of these efforts, but if we examine them on the basis of the Word of God, we cannot escape the responsibility of taking up a position.  If God’s Word is not preached biblically, and if its instructions are not applied, these denominations cease to be biblical churches at all.  Indeed, if this spiritual ruin becomes settled, it can be declared according to the Westminster Confession of Faith that these churches are “no longer the churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.”[3]

In a reference to the doctrines of the Reformation, the author comes to the following conclusion.  If the five basic principles of the Reformation do not prevail, “we do not have a true church, and certainly not one that will survive for very long.  For how can any church be a true and faithful church if it does not stand for Scripture alone, is not committed to a biblical gospel, and does not exist for God’s glory?  A church without these convictions has ceased to be a true church, whatever else it may be.” With this we whole-heartedly agree.

If we read Dr. Boice’s book and deeply reflect upon these doctrines, we will be surprised at how many churches are not churches; at least, not in the biblical sense.  Perhaps, neither is that a true church to which the reader belongs!

Let us look at this thoroughly.  Is Sola Scriptura taught, believed and applied today?  Is the inerrancy, authority and sufficiency of Scripture taken seriously, whether in our personal or denominational life?  Let us take a look at today’s conditions and the accepted practice.  This will tell us!  And what about Solus Christus?  Is our church’s teaching about the person and work of Christ biblical?  Do we understand what the Cross is about?  For whom did Christ obtain deliverance and what does this mean?  Furthermore, do we understand Sola Gratia?  What does grace mean?  Does it mean that we can now live without reference to the law of God?  Or do we understand that God is holy and that He, by His grace, cancels our sins in order that we might, henceforth, live unto Him?

But let us look at another point.  According to Luther, a church stands or falls on the teaching of justification.  It is worth pondering the question of how the doctrine of Sola Fide is taught today.  Is it correctly articulated?  How many congregational members would know what it means.  And what about works?  How do we relate to them?  And what about Sandemanism?[4] In how many congregations is personal piety taken seriously?  Is there any fruit in the lives of those who are on the church’s role book?  Finally, what does Soli Deo Gloria mean?  Do we really keep in view the glory of God and His priorities, or do we perpetually give first place to pragmatic viewpoints in our decisions?  Do we possess a God-centered world-view?  Do we understand the sovereignty of God?  Do we really believe that God does not give His glory to any other? (Is. 48:11) Let us imagine the above questions are put down in a public opinion questionnaire!  What kind of responses would we get?

Interesting Endeavors

Many have perceived the general state of emergency in our day—if not from the Word, then by the fact of churches becoming vacated—and have looked for a solution.  In this regard there has been a desire to solve the so-called relevance-crisis of the churches and Christianity.  To every solution of a crisis, however, there has to be a reference, a starting point.  Here, however, is the problem.  Liberal churchmen do not have a faithful, trustworthy starting point.  For the most part, the Scriptures have been trodden under the feet of today’s modern “reformers.”  We should not be surprised at this since, during the past decades, the authority of the Bible has been successfully deconstructed to make its teachings lack credibility; and so the power of the gospel has also evaporated.  What is more, taking into consideration the laws of supply and demand, the desire has become ever greater today to provide what will please people.  In recent times this has been called reformation.  But the old Reformation was something else.  The old Reformers wanted to please God.  And to do this they chose to return to the Scriptures, the Word of God.

But today we are witnessing interesting endeavors.  These modern reformers come forward with some very original problem-solving suggestions.  Of course, not many of them have anything to do with the Bible.  We would particularly like to respond to one—on the subject of the Reformation—a book celebrated in advance of publication and which won the appreciation of almost everyone in Hungary .[5] The main object of the book is to make Christianity relevant again, that is, to make it significant and stop the decadence of the churches.  That is why it proposes a “new reformation.” From the fortunate title, however, as well as from the suggestions and “propositions” which appear very spiritual and logical at first sight, it soon turns out that Klaus’s book is built upon human wisdom.  The “new reformation” outlined by the author is a complete failure.  It is full of concepts and suggestions which lead nowhere, not to mention that it abounds in thoughts and teachings which are unscriptural.  In its entirety the book is characterized by an absence of anything remotely related to the Scriptures and by an utter deficiency of any theological conception.  It is a pipe dream which reaches out for a starting point with precious little reference to the Word of God.  Throughout the book the author starts from the present setting and does not consider that in everything—in the applied methods as well—God should be glorified.  This fact speaks for itself. In the first 100 pages of the book, the reader encounters only five references to Scripture – and these do not make any important point.

Without going into a discussion of the details, we note that management techniques, user-friendly worship services, and programs without theological content cannot build the church of Christ .  The church of Christ is His body, and being His body it must be built on His Word and imbued with His Spirit.  This is not a marketing question.  For even if marketing could achieve greater numbers, this would not make it a church.  At best it would be a self-catering club where people learn to feel good about themselves in their sins.

So this is not reformational theology.  It is at best an Arminian, but mostly a liberal, man-centered, postmodern theology.  In Hungarian lands today, the word “Reformed” has an exclusively cultural connotation and cannot be used to assess the biblical soundness of church beliefs and practices.

This can easily be observed by the way these churches define their mission.  They put into motion an entirely new propaganda.  They increasingly speak about “value-creating ministry” and for this request 1% of our taxes.  This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of postmodernism.  Value is pressed into the place of truth, and personal desires take the place of biblical facts and teachings.[6] But the Church of Christ should not be busying itself in this kind of value-creating ministry.  It should not even be meeting personal desires on the purely human level.  The voice of accommodating to society can also be heard behind this even though the task of the Christian church in every age is the spread of the gospel, the unadulterated gospel – whether there be many or few human “customers.”  That gospel is not to become a social gospel, a national gospel or a diluted gospel adapted to impress people in a carnal way, but a biblical gospel. (1 Cor. 15:1-4) It is to be the kind of gospel which according to its definition can not be too popular (1 Cor. 1:18), the kind of gospel which is the power of God (Rom. 1:16), which is good news, but which is first of all bad news!  The kind of gospel where, before speaking of love, God speaks about His holiness, anger and judgement!  The kind of gospel which does not promise heaven without first speaking about hell!  The kind of gospel which demands conversion, a turning away from sin and toward a holy life!  The kind of gospel which sets the cross of Christ at the center!  The kind of gospel which is interested in the enhancement of the glory of God!  For everything else is an imitation of the gospel, a false gospel, and as such stands under the judgment of God. (Gal. 1:6-9)

We do not have to discover something new if the old already works!  This is what the new reformers do not know!  Dr. James Montgomery Boice’s book, on the other hand, leads us back to the “old Reformation.”  His book is new in that it takes us back to the old.  All that he states and suggests is in opposition to what the new reformers, as well as today’s compromising evangelicals, represent.

An Evangelical Alternative?

With regard to this critical situation, what kind of response is offered by this increasingly disintegrating Hungarian evangelical Christianity?  There is no fixed response.  Many express indignation at the sight of today’s weak state of Christianity, yet beyond recognizing the problem, they do nothing to set into motion tangible changes.  The centuries-old bonds of customs, traditions and personal interests still cripple evangelical Christians.  In a word, the spectacle is lamentable.

There is no concrete response, and there is no long-term plan.  The reformational mentality and vision is sadly lacking.  By far the greatest number of evangelicals in Hungary stamp their feet in one place.  For the most part, they attach hopes to ideas which throughout the course of church history have not proved successful.  Notably, again and again they set the renewal of liberal denominations as their goal, even though the decay of these denominations is inevitable since they have betrayed the evangelical gospel in such great measure that God’s blessing can not be upon them.  What is more, it is not possible in liberal churches to speak of the application of minimal biblical standards.  An additional oddity is that these evangelicals are not daring enough to undertake open confrontation, and without this, it is very peculiar to hear them speak about actual reformational endeavors.  Indeed, upon closer scrutiny, it soon turns out that their idea of renewal contains many contradictions.  Their program, in reality, is nothing other than the misleading of unsuspecting Christians, as well as an engagement in compromise.

Consequently, today’s evangelicals at best have thus far issued a variety of statements and declarations, but they stay away from the arena of action.  They merely disapprove of certain unscriptural teachings and practices, then think that by this they have done enough to fulfil their spiritual obligation before God and man.  It still has not become clear to them, it seems, that in a liberal church or society, anyone can state his opinion, but this is in itself meaningless, since it has no practical consequence.  We could not illustrate this better than by pointing to the protests of Hungarian evangelicals over the past decades, in which no kind of noteworthy theological or practical change took place in their churches.  Everything has remained unchanged.  Indeed, in a number of areas the situation has further deteriorated.  Furthermore, these evangelicals have more and more been left out of those key decisions which affect their denominations!  With these things in mind, it is a mystery to us how they could effectively influence denominational affairs!

What should the proper agenda be in such a situation?  Every serious reformer—therefore, the author also—has identified the ultimate biblical response.  “Many people were beginning to desert these churches and turn to conservative churches instead.  Unable to redirect the bureaucracies by personal participation or by democratic vote, people began voting with their feet and either dropped out entirely or turned to those churches that still retained a biblical message.”

And why is there no other way?  Because God can simply not be robbed of His glory by permitting the appearance of something which, in reality, is not according to His truth – by permitting another gospel to be paraded about when, in truth, it has nothing to do with the gospel He has revealed in His Holy Scriptures!  If inner reform experiments are the goal – and may this be! – then let the attempt be truly and openly undertaken!  The Cambridge Declaration addressed this!  The first sphere of activity should be reformation undertaken within the churches!  If, however, there is no vision for this preference in an apostate denomination, biblical separation is more than desirable.  It is necessary! (2 Cor. 6:14-18) In reality, true inner reform and separation are the only two options for reformation at our disposal.  There is no third way!

Instead of choosing one of these two solutions, however, Hungarian evangelicals have chosen a mid-way solution in place of true reformation and begun to think in terms of inter-denominational organizations.  Further, they have not noticed that they have forsaken those churches which they reputedly wanted to reform.  Finally, they have no Scriptural basis for this autonomous standpoint.  That is to say, the Scriptures do not know of inter-denominational organizations, and do not urge an establishment of them.  Considering this, it may seem surprising that among Christian inter-denominational organizations, several hundred[7] are presently to be found in the Hungarian-speaking world.[8]

The establishing of inter-denominational organizations is a “solution” which obviously sets off on a wrong course, since reformation must either be realized in the renewal of the old church or in the establishing of a new denomination.  Reformation is always church related and church based and cannot be anything but that.  Could we imagine Luther or Calvin using their efforts to establish inter-denominational organizations?  Instead, they always thought in terms of congregations and groups of congregations – the church.  And when the teaching of Scripture could not be applied in the congregation, Calvin went to Strasbourg to be among French refugees there rather than establish an inter-denominational association in Geneva .

Where there is no counsel the people perish. (Prov. 11:14) We must state clearly that today’s evangelical leaders are suffering from spiritual short-sightedness.  They may lead people to the door of conversion, but what they teach them later is designed to make them servants of apostasy rather than the servants of Christ.  Nor have they understood that believers must be built into confessing congregations and denominations where teaching, discipline and accountability—together with all the other means of grace—are provided, so that their spiritual growth and progress in sanctification can be assured.

One of these leaders recently touted the following as a mission success: “Until now we have been able to powerfully curb the number of believing Protestant Christians wanting to break away from the church.”  In other words, we successfully kept believers in the bonds of compromise, even though nothing of any worth changed in the denomination concerned.  We can certainly state on the basis of the Word of God that this is no achievement!  For reformation is not about how long we can keep believers in the liberal churches; nor how we “salvage” them in inter-denominational organizations.  Reformation is about congregations and denominations.  The Sola’s should be insisted upon in denominations if possible.  Then, if it is not possible, there is a need to engage in the work of calling into existence new denominations in which these Sola’s can be taught and applied.

A great responsibility, therefore, rests on the shoulders of evangelical leaders, especially on the shoulders of the leaders of inter-denominational associations and organizations.  Unfortunately, they are the ones who most often obscure the truth and delude believers, who do not stand upon the Word of God, who are not at the head of reformational endeavors.  They do not lead by good example.  Instead of standing upon the Word, they surprise us with bridge-building solutions to justify their position.  With this irresponsible conduct they encourage Christians to remain with them in their stagnation and compromise and, in reality, contribute to the further deterioration of the spiritual situation.

It should be recognized that compromising conduct communicates and propagates its own message.  Christians remaining in liberal, unreformable denominations—without being aware of it—are communicating messages to the future.  What does their present conduct communicate to the up-coming generation?  According to a detailed analysis by David G.  Fountain, the future generation of Christians can interpret the conduct of present-day compromising evangelicals in one of two ways:[9]

a)      They can think that those evangelicals who have gone before them do not consider assertive biblical teachings important, particularly since in the final analysis former evangelicals have, without reservation, undertaken fellowship with liberals (who have not believed or practiced these teachings).  In other words for the up-coming generation, there is no problem, since the earlier generation stayed in the apostate denominations.

b)      Or they could think that with regard to the essentials, there is no real difference between the two viewpoints.  This slight contrast was really only attributable to terminological nuances.  In other words, the future generation of Christians will not understand what those who have gone before them understood.  They will only see what their predecessors did (not) do.

Whatever way it may be, both possibilities are a tragedy.  The battle which these evangelicals are now putting off will be left for their successors to fight.  While today’s evangelicals expect that their posterity will fight these battles, which are becoming more and more intense, they themselves do not set the example in this.  Therefore, in addition to the present compromise, today’s evangelicals are betraying the future of evangelicalism.  At the same time, today’s evangelicals are handing over their own children to an ever strengthening enemy.

What can be the reason for such conduct?  Denominational loyalty?  An unfounded arrogance?  Personal comfort?  Church position?  Material dependence?  Reputation and popularity?  Theological ignorance?  Let the reader decide!  One thing is certain, however!  Those who do not undertake reformation cannot count on a reformation taking place!  Especially, they cannot count on their children finishing what they themselves have not begun!

What Needs to Be Done?

If we do not want to disappear before long from the scene of history, if we do not want to assist as gravediggers in obliterating the gospel of grace, then it is time to act.  There is a need for radical change.  Moreover, it is needed urgently!  This is what reformation is about.  Instead of new methods, we must turn back to the old source.  “Ad fontes,” the ancients use to say, “back to the source!”

We must reflect again upon the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures and upon their authorityInerrant Scriptures are not of much use if we do not practice their requirements and if in practice we deny their sufficiency!  We must reflect deeply on the meaning of the other Sola’s.  It is not enough merely to pay lip service to the Sola’s, to repeat them each year; rather, they must be practiced!  Until they are, there will be no reformation!

Beyond a rediscovery of the five Sola’s, a renaissance of Reformed theology in general is needed: The preaching of the gospel of grace, an earnest teaching of experiential Christianity, a cleansing of local congregations, a proper administration of the sacraments, the practice of church discipline, and a corporate stand for the truth.  It is only by undertaking all these things that we can fulfil our mission!

And how can this dissipating Christianity ever be hammered into a united body?  How can the Word of God effectively be put into practice?  Where does one start?  With whom is it possible to form a united front?  The answer of the Holy Scriptures is infinitely simple.  With believers in a confessing denomination! For there is where the Lord promises blessing to His people! (Ps. 133:3) Let us not forget, brethren, that reformation—among other things, but by no means last—will always, especially when reform is no longer possible, result in the establishment of a new denomination!  There was also an unspoken sixth Sola, the Sola Ecclesia! (The Church alone!) Have we forgotten this?  It seems we have, since most evangelical Christians today keep aloof from this Sola, although it was one of the blessed fruits of the Reformation!  Note, too, that it is only in confessing denominations that the standards we have discussed above can be realized.

If we were to paint a picture of Hungarian evangelical Christianity, it would resemble soldiers divided into small regiments for the purpose of launching an attack upon the enemy.  It would not be organized as an army fit for action (it would not be like Gideon’s army which, though small, was united!), but broken down into regiments for making small incursions upon the enemy.  From time to time a single soldier might be sent into battle by himself.  Further, the regiments would be left to themselves to come up with ideas on how to fight.  There would be no unified battle plan—one that would require theological knowledge, clear vision and a reformational approach.  These characteristics are completely missing from today’s evangelical arena.  There is no coordinated attack.  And, so, one wants to attack with infantry, another with light cavalry, yet another with artillery.  Some would busy themselves behind enemy lines, while others would think in terms of negotiating a truce with the enemy.  With this, anything can take place except victory!  With this, anything can happen except reliance upon the wisdom and power of God and ascribing to Him the glory that is due to His name!

In the present fragmented situation there can be no united front! Therefore, the greatest need of the present time is the strengthening of confessing congregations and denominations (if any exist) or the establishing of them (if none exist)!  With regard to conditions in Hungary , the situation is truly ripe for this latter!

Ultimately, the spiritual heirs of the Reformation must decide whether they stand on the narrow way on which their forebears walked, whether they will undertake reformation, whether they will forsake pragmatic theologizing, a continuous weighing of pros and cons and an excessive ecclesiastical-political politeness.  Really, there is no other solution!  We must lift again our eyes to God, and to His Word, the Holy Scriptures! Without this there will be no reformation, and the centuries-old deformation will remain!  And without reformation God’s name will not be glorified!  God Forbid!  May His name yet be glorified in today’s churches! (Eph. 3:20-21)

A Few Words concerning the Responsibility of the Reader

Boice’s book urges upon the—by no means large—camp of Hungarian evangelical Christianity, including its leaders, serious challenges and candid self-examination.  A great responsibility is placed upon such to read this book, especially pastors and leaders of Christian organizations.  It is our hope that the burden of the Word of the Lord would weigh heavily upon them.  Oh, if only they would move from their standstill position!  Oh, if only they would understand that it is not enough merely to speak about important questions.  It is time to take important steps!  Without this, speaking is only so much noise!

Dear reader, you must understand that reformation is a battle!  A real battle, which carries with it a price!  Are you ready to pay this price?  Do not read this book if you do not want to do anything or change anything!  Undertake reformation!  The book provides spiritual ammunition for this!

Begin this work of reformation with yourself, but do not stop there.  Continue it with theological reformation, grasping and practicing the truth!  Give up that mistaken view, according to which we do only what we can in given circumstances and, if necessary, compromise.  For God can still give us an awakening, perhaps even reformation.  God indeed can give a reformation, but for this He will use means!  And you can be His means!

Listen to Abraham Kuyper’s one-time summons: “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.”

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

May 10, 2006

Rev.  Imre Szoke

Karolyi Gaspar Institute of Theology and Missions , Miskolc , Hungary

[1] Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Soli Deo Gloria.

[2] The Cambridge Declaration also appeared in Hungarian.  The Ébredés Alapítvány [Awakening Foundation] commissioned its publication by the Jó Hír Iratmisszió Alapítvány [Good News Literature Mission Foundation].  The address of this latter is: 1073 Budapest , Dob utca 74.

[3] Westminster Confession of Faith, 25. V.

[4] This view teaches that everyone who says that he believes Jesus died for his sin is justified and may continue to lead a carnal Christian life.

[5] Douglass Klaus, Az új reformáció—96 tétel az egyház jövőjéről [The New Reformation—96 Theses Concerning the Future of the Church] (Kálvin János Kiadó [John Calvin Publishing House], Budapest , 2002)

[6] Michael S. Horton, We Believe (Word Publishing, Nashville, 1998), p. 59.

[7] Some of these can be found in: István Margit, Evangelical Clockhand—Selected Name and Address Directory of Hungarian and Cross-border Protestant Mission Organizations and Journals (Pécel, 2003)

[8] This phenomenon—although indirectly so—belies the fact that there is a great problem in those churches from whose matrix these organizations appeared and mushroomed.

[9] For more of this see David Fountain, Contending for the Faith (The Wakeman Trust, London , 2005), pp. 105-107.

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