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The 21st Century Reformation

In the 16th century Martin Luther emphasized the biblical theme of the priesthood of all believers as a critique of what he saw as an overemphasis upon the professional priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Luther contended that from a biblical perspective, every believer in Jesus Christ is a priest, not just the professional clergy. Inspired by Luther, William Tyndale set out to translate the Bible into English, having devoted his life to the prospect of making the Scriptures accessible to the common man. In a famous encounter with a group of priests whom Tyndale rebuked for placing the words of the pope above those of Scripture, Tyndale declared: "...if God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!" (see Foxes Book of Martyrs, chapter XII)

While nearly 500 years have passed since Luther tacked the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral, it is now time for a new reformation! Tyndale (and others in the tradition of Wycliff) sought to make the bible accessible to the masses by translating it into the language of the common man. That has proven to be a highly successful pursuit, as now bible translations abound, and anyone with internet access has access to as many free bible translations as their hearts desire! But my contention is that we have not gone far enough in providing the means for equipping the average believer with the weapons that comprise the arsenal of the average pastor.

Seminaries and bible colleges are for those who are called to full-time ministry, right? But see, there's the problem right there! We are all full-time ministers! Every believer in Jesus Christ is called to the ministry, not just pastors and teachers! Ministry is not just an event, not just something that happens within the four walls of the local church; ministry is everything that every believer does in the world as a representation of Christ. Just as we expect pastors to be serious about preparing themselves for the sacred task of declaring the gospel to the people of God and rightly dividing the word of truth, so we must begin to expect every member of the body of Christ to get serious about preparing themselves to bear witness to the resurrection and glory of Jesus Christ in the work place...in the realms of education, of politics and government, of arts and media, of family, of entertainment, of science and medicine, etc. Every believer is called with a holy calling, and that means that we must get serious about preparing every believer to fulfill that holy calling!

The problem is that the traditional routes take too much time and money. A seminary education can cost $60k or more, and typically requires three years of full-time study or more. We cannot expect every believer to drop everything and go to seminary, and in fact such a decision would not be wise. Seminary will continue to be a viable option for those who are called to professional/vocational ministry within the local church, and/or those called to be biblical scholars and theologians. Seminary is not the problem; the problem is that there is no viable alternative for those called to serve in non-church related realms. If such an alternative existed...a way of providing the core content of a seminary education to every believer in a digestible, understandable, and practically applicable package, it would spell the beginning of a new reformation...a 21st century reformation!

What if every Christian took their calling seriously? What if Christians in the secular workplace saw themselves as the pastors and teachers divinely appointed to serve there? I know, this type of rhetoric is already widely used in the body of Christ. But I still don't believe it is really taken seriously. Pastors are expected to pray fervently and study the Scriptures intensely as they prepare themselves to bring the word of God to bear upon the people of God. But how many marketplace Christians prepare themselves with the same intensity before going to work in the morning? Christians in the marketplace tend to say that they see themselves as full-time ministers, but they rarely take that calling seriously enough to take the time to arm themselves with the accoutrements of the task set before them. Workplace evangelism tends to take the form of simplistic spiritual platitudes and invitations to come to my church on Sunday! "Come hear my pastor preach," is not what Jesus meant when he commanded us to make disciples of all nations! What if every member of the church had just as much depth in the word as the pastor? Now that would constitute a real reformation that actualizes the priesthood of all believers!

We are a kingdom of priests! But we've got to get ourselves ready! We've got to take our calling seriously! Its not enough to sit under a pastor who knows the word intimately; you've got to know the word intimately yourself! And you've got to prepare yourself to give a reason for the hope that you have to anyone who asks! Its time for the church of the 21st century to wake up from its slumber, and when that day comes every member of every church will rise up and take their place! This is my passion in a nutshell: If the Lord spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than the average pastor!

Are you ready to take your place? Let Abba University start you on your journey! We can provide you with the core content of a seminary education without the complexity of technical research papers and obscure academic reading! We equip our online classrooms with high quality HD video lectures that are deep enough to challenge you, yet simple enough to engage you, and our courses require as little as one hour per week! And here's the best part: the cost to you is only $95 per course! 

Don't wait another day: register today and let Abba U empower you to take your place in the 21st century reformation!

Registration closes on December 14th at 9pm
Class begins on December 17th


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Author: admin
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