My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
Today, we will again visit Wolfgang Simson’s Fifteen Theses towards a Re-Incarnation of Church. His Thesis #3 is The third reformation. About this idea, Simson writes, “In rediscovering the gospel of salvation by faith and grace alone, Luther started to reform the church through a reformation of theology. In the eighteenth century, through movements of pietistic renewal (such as the revivial centering around the preaching of John Wesley, the holiness movement, and the pre-pentecostal movement, for three examples), there was a recovery of a new intimacy with God, which led to a reformation of spirituality, the Second Reformation. Now God is touching the wineskins themselves, initiating a Third Reformation, a reformation of sctructure." Unquote.
Personally, the Third Reformation of structure that Simson speaks of here is more obvious in parts of the world in which the church is under persecution either governmentally or socially, which prevent the church there to do anything other than follow the scriptural form. Here in
North America, it is more difficult to accept, given that we are used to forms of church structure we have inherited over the centuries. Conversely, as our society becomes more multicultural, there are more persons from groups that for various reasons will not enter a church building, have had bad experiences with the old structures, or even are legally forbidden to be around the old structures. The flexibility of simple church structures allow us, the church, to more easily share the life of Jesus with people who find the structures a spiritual hurdle that is unnecessary.