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5 Stars Out Of 5
Calling the Church back to Reformation
February 11, 2013
Regardless of the subject under consideration, there are occasionally those inherent qualities that cause the observer to use the word "wonderful." "Here We Stand," a compilation of essays presented at the 1996 meeting of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, is a "wonderful" book. The subject matter centers on a call for a modern reformation in today's church. Although these lectures were given more than a decade and a half ago, they remain challengingly relevant for pastors and church leaders seeking to lead their people toward the recovery of the biblical model of practical ecclesiology. Edited by James Montgomery Boice, who authored the book's capstone essay, other contributors include David Wells, Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, Al Moehler Gene Veith, Robert Godfrey, and Ervin Duggan. There is consistency and consensus among the essays, each seemingly amplifying and building upon the prior ones. The book begins with the expanded statement of the Cambridge Declaration, which is basically a reaffirmation of the "five solis" of the Protestant Reformation. Horton's essay elaborates those five critical points more fully. The thesis and outline of the book is summarized by the statement: "We are calling the church, amidst our dying culture, to repent of its worldliness, to recover and confess the truth of God's Word as did the Reformers, and to see that truth embodied in doctrine, worship, and life." Each of those areas are addressed with conviction and force. There is barely a page that I did not mark in some way. In a day in which church-goers are drawn in by the latest entertaining fads, "Here We Stand" exhorts the church to recover its sense of awe in the God who alone is worthy of our adoration, praise, and worship. This is a "must read" for not only those in the Reformed camp, but for those who need their perspective of God's glory refocused and renewed.
Faithfulness to the gospel IS the bottom line, not the number of people that come to church, the size of our buildings, the amount of offerings we get, the quality of our sound system, or whatever else. We can have a 100,000-member church, but apart from the gospel, all we've really got is a flock of goats having fun, not obedient sheep of the Shepherd. This book on the little-heard (to most who claim to be evangelicals) 1996 Cambridge Declaration reminds us of the bottom-line, calling our attention to the "five solas" that once defined real evangelicalism: SOLA SCRIPTURA, SOLUS CHRISTUS, SOLA GRATIA, SOLA FIDE and SOLI DEO GLORIA!