Catholic Reformed Piety?

You may be scratching your head as to what I mean by combining the three words “catholic”, “reformed”, and “piety” in the same phrase, and why I would feel the need to encapsualte and entitle my blog with that phrase.

I want to lay down my cards and say that I am a Reformed Christian who subscribes to the historic Reformed creeds (specifically the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity) who just so happens to be catholic in his ecclesiology. Does this mean that I am ecumenical or support the work and ministry of the World Council of Churches (WCC)? Not at all. However, through my wrestling with God, Scripture, and history, I have come to see the organic unity and development of the Church to what she is today.

In regards to what I mean by “piety”, I do not refer to simply holy praxis, but to the providing the foundation to make theology and the knowledge of God possible. This concept is taken from the preeminent reformer John Calvin, who argued that theology is the description of his piety. This is further explained in Ford Lewis Battles’  introduction to his translation of Calvin’s Institutes:

“To the modern mind the word “piety” has lost its historic implications and status. It has become suspect, as bearing suggestions of ineffectual religious sentimentality or canting pretense. For Calvin and his contemporaries, as for ancient pagan and Christian writers, pietas was an honest word, free from unsavory connotation. It as a praiseworthy dutifulness or faithful devotion to one’s family, country, or God. Calvin insistently affirms that piety is a prerequisite for any sound knowledge of God.”

With all of this in mind, it is my hope and prayer that this blog serves as an outlet to store my reflections, thoughts, and musings, and to even encourage and challenge others to think more deeply about their faith and theirselves.

S.D.G.

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