Foundation for Reformed Theology

Foundation for Reformed Theology


It may be interesting for you that the Center for Dutch Reformation Studies (CDRS) has launched a web-project which offers a simple and convenient access to different editions of Calvin's Institutes in different languages and provides some tools for research. The main features of the project are described in this video:
These are the most important things:
- the possibility to read different versions of the Institutes (in Latin, French, English, Dutch, German, Afrikaans, Russian) in parallel columns (2 columns of more);
- easy access to page scans of the printed books;
- the Barth/Niesel edition of the Latin text, which was digitalized for this project, contains many footnotes, including variations in the texts published in Calvin's lifetime;
- with the Barth/Niesel edition, it's possible to trace the "history" of the Institutes and find in which edition sentences or paragraphs appeared for the first time;
- all registered users can use our search function which allows to find words and phrases and immediately see their context. The engine supports special characters and operators and performs search in different versions of the Institutes (that is, in different languages);
- the Latin edition has an additional feature which allows to find all occurrences of a word in all its forms (cases, tenses etc);
- registration is free and takes a minute.

You can find the project on the site of CDRS:
Gardner - Green Cohort In San Antonio. Caroline Haddon Leith please join us in 2020 - the year of perfect vision.
The first 2 years of my ministry I read John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. It it one of those rare books full of spiritual vitality. God used Calvin to clarify and encourage my faith. I looked back on that time with great fondness. Last year through the Foundation for Reformed Theology, I picked up a reading calendar designed as an aid to read through the Institutes in a year. The second time through the Institutes did not disappoint! Thanks to Jim Goodloe for making these resources available. I've started designing my own reading calendars for other important books, like the works of John Owen. One small bite at a time devours the spiritual elephant and fattens the soul.
"Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, please to put a penny in the old man's hat!
If you haven't got a penny then a ha' penny will do!
Have a Merry Christmas and God bless you!"

All that to say, do you have any suggestion on a good biography of John Calvin? Erix Mataxes has written on Bonhoeffer & Luther but not yet on Calvin.
I have so much for which to be grateful and thankful with regard to the greatest American Reformed theologian of the 20th c. - Dr. John H. Leith. Caroline Haddon Leith The impact of his legacy expressed in the foundation he envisioned and established - The Foundation for Reformed Theology - has been a tremendous blessing in shaping a profound understanding of Reformed thought. The educational ministerial seminars that his foundation generates and supports has taught me more over the past 12 years regarding Reformed theology than anything learned in my seminary training (in fact I have had to basically jettison all that I was taught in my divinity work in order to recover and learn the rich tradition of the Reformed faith!). Further, I am so very grateful for the leadership of my colleague and friend James C. Goodloe IV Executive Director of the Foundation who is carrying on with invaluable expertise the rich and profound legacy of Dr. Leith.
In preparation for the Princeton ministerial seminar coming up next spring in which I participate, I have been provided the opportunity to read a delightful collection of Dr. Leith's shorter writings in a book edited by Charles E. Raynal entitled "Pilgrimage of a Presbyterian: Collected Shorter Writings" (2001, Geneva Press, Louisville). Friday, I came across the following editorial Dr. Leith offered in the Presbyterian Outlook on October 3, 1994.
As a true "Doctor" of the church, Dr. Leith took his responsibility of challenging the church when he perceived her being in error. In his editorial Dr. Leith observes - again this is 1994 - the regrettable trajectory of the Presbyterian church with several insightful comments:
"The Christian church is not a political party, not an advocate of social, political, and economic causes. It is a worshipping, believing community that, in the light of what God has done in Jesus Christ, commits life and brings all life under God's judgment. The time has come when the membership of the Presbyterian Church will have to declare that the Presbyterian Church is either an authentic manifestation of the one holy catholic and apostolic church or simply another advocacy group with its own agenda." (p. 320)
In response to his own critical evaluation, Dr. Leith offers the following thoughts regarding "recovering the foundations of church life..."
"Reading, study and memorization of the scriptures as the word of God and as they are written. The application of scripture can wait until we know scripture."
"Reading, study and memorization of scripture will give us the language spoken in the Christian community and the data of the faith."
"Study of the creed and the confessions so that we shall know the faith of the church that has called congregations into being, that has sustained them, and that has received the approbation of the people of God over a period of time."
"A recent study of the decline of the Presbyterian Church has emphasized the significance of the emergence of church leaders and officers who know neither the Bible nor the theology of the church (First Things, March 1993, 13-18)." (p. 320)
So very grateful for Dr. John H. Leith for his legacy - The Foundation for Reformed Theology, as well as his profound words, thoughts and faithfulness. Soli Deo Gloria!
While protestants will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s disputations (95 theses) distributed to faculty and church officials in Wittenberg in 1517, this coming Tuesday, October 31st, I will be celebrating the 633rd anniversary of the Reformation honoring the death (and life) of the “Morning Star” of the Reformation Jon Wycliffe (d. 1384). As we reflect upon the historical Reformation in Europe, may we never forget Jon Wycliffe and Jan Hus (d. 1415). While Luther was a remarkable theologian, his disputations were extensions of earlier Reformed thought. Both Wycliffe and Hus were saying the same things more than 100 years prior - and Hus was executed in 1415 for these “dangerous” ideas! As protestants remember and celebrate the reformation in Europe we should do so with the understanding of reformations. Protestant Reformed thought was developing in various parts of Europe long before 1517. Soli Deo Gloria!
For anyone cohort reading this great book for their gathering. It’s great having a reasonably priced Kindle backup ($4.99) to accompany the hard copy.
The Uniqueness of Jesus and the Uniqueness of the Gospel

In Galatians Paul is arguing for and pleading for the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ – the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the Redeemer, the Lord, the King.

That reminds us of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

Speaking of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in these present times is becoming increasingly dangerous. It was in the first Century, and it is becoming more so in the twenty first Century. How do you stand with regard to the reality?
Paul realised that the truth and purity and integrity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was at stake, and that is one reason as to why he wrote this letter to the Galatians, and today one of our main ‘battles’ is over the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is not just one among many. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is unique, and that very expression has become anathema to many.

Have you noticed that people will tolerate almost anything except the Name of Jesus Christ?

Have you noticed that people who appreciate tolerance and speak about the importance of tolerance can become quite intolerant when it come to the person and message and ministry and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

We are in Galatians Chapter 5, where we read that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

It is not so much - what is freedom - but WHO is freedom. Jesus Christ is the perfect picture of perfect freedom.

We all have that desire - that yearning - to be other than we are.

There is that longing - and Jesus can bring that desire to fruition. Jesus can even produce that degree of satisfaction.

Having been given that freedom in Jesus - and from Jesus - God wants us to keep that freedom - and not lose it - and that is what this letter is all about.

These disciples of Jesus Christ were on the point of returning to slavery - into that prison of what men expected of them - into chains – the chains of religious rules and regulations.

That is why Paul takes the time to write as he did - and his appeal to these brothers who had come to real faith through his ministry is - "Stand firm - do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

“Stand firm” is a word so needed in these present times. It was needed then. It is needed today.

There were Jews who were insisting that these male disciples be circumcised. "Just accept this little operation of circumcision - the world will not see it - the world does not really need even to know."

O, it is all very subtle. But we know that they had a whole agenda and they were preparing to present these believers with these weak and miserable principles and religious regulations.

If they had succumbed - they would have lost their freedom in Christ - because if you look to one part of the law regarding righteousness in the eyes of God, then you have to keep the whole law. You are "obligated to obey the whole law".

Succumb to one part of the law - and you have to keep the whole law - which meant the sacrificial system - which then meant that for such people the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross - our Passover Lamb - would have no value.

“Risen and living and loving Jesus, in a day when so few know very much about You, and when they do not consider You to be unique – help me to reveal or reflect Your grace. Amen.

(This week's "Word from Scotland" - previous articles may be found at and - in the 'Archives' section. Every Prayerful Blessing.)

"Better Preaching, Better Teaching, Better Pastoral Care"

Operating as usual

Foundation for Reformed Theology – Better Preaching, Better Teaching, Better Pastoral Care 07/02/2023

Farewell and Welcome! - July 2, 2023

Dear Friends of The Foundation for Reformed Theology:

For the past two and a half years, it has been my privilege to serve as the "Interim Director" of the Foundation for Reformed Theology. I have enjoyed this work, especially getting to know many of you. I have also enjoyed working with members of the board of the Foundation, some of whom have become very dear friends. At their meeting on June 29th, the board voted to merge our efforts with those of the journal, Theology Matters, and elected Richard Burnett to be the Executive Director of the Foundation. I count Richard as a good friend and a theologian from whom I have learned a great deal. I am delighted that he is willing to undertake this new responsibility and I pledge to support him in every way I can. I do ask for your patience during these summer months of transition.

Before leaving this space, however, I want to thank all of you for your support of the Foundation and particularly for your words of encouragement to me. I have enjoyed writing these missives and you have been kind to read them. Please know how grateful I am for you. And for those whose responsibility it is to preach, teach, and offer pastoral care, I trust you will continue to find strength in the resources Reformed theology provides, and most of all that you will continue to find strength in that One to whom Reformed theology exists to serve, even the God of Jesus Christ.

One further note: at the end of all of these missives is an appeal of sorts to support the Foundation's work with gifts of money. I hope you will take that to heart as well. We cannot do what we have been called to do without the support of friends such as you.

So here is the press release:

"June 29, 2023

Today after a comprehensive strategic evaluation over the past year, the Board of the Foundation for Reformed Theology announced the addition to our Board of ten new members from the ministry of Theology Matters, resulting in a union of the two Boards to collaborate on and enhance the mission of the Foundation. Additionally, Dr. Richard E. Burnett was elected to the position of Executive Director of the Foundation.

The Board is excited about both of these actions and believes this collaboration will enable the Foundation to continue to achieve the goals that Dr. John H. Leith originally envisioned for it, namely, to strengthen and enrich pastors in their work of preaching, teaching, and pastoral care by drawing on the theological resources of the Reformed faith.

The Board acknowledges with gratitude the leadership of Tom Currie for his work as the Interim Director of the Foundation for the past three years. His hard work, service, devotion to the Reformed tradition, and email missives to our constituency have enabled the Foundation to move forward.

The Board welcomes Dr. Richard E. Burnett as our new Executive Director. Richard Burnett is a gifted teacher of Reformed theology, a proven leader in articulating the church's faith, and a theologian committed to supporting and nourishing pastors in their work of ministry. His stewardship of the journal, Theology Matters, and his convening of large numbers of pastors in conference settings make him a natural fit to lead this collaborative effort. Having served on the Board of the Foundation for seventeen years, he already has a very good understanding of its mission. He comments: 'This is a great honor. I am deeply grateful for the Board of the Foundation and especially for Tom Currie and his leadership. I look forward to continuing to support the Foundation's particular mission and I will work to expand the scope of its work in the days to come. The mission of Theology Matters and the work of the Foundation for Reformed Theology have much in common and I believe this collaboration will strengthen both organizations in the future.'

The reconstituted Board will continue to pursue the goals of the Foundation as originally set forth by Dr. Leith, and in that respect, its mission will remain unchanged. We look forward to continuing to support pastors who commit to meeting together to study theological texts of the Reformed faith as a means of strengthening their ministry. And further we believe this uniting of efforts with Theology Matters will energize and expand the work of the Foundation in the future.

It is our hope to hold a conference in Montreat, North Carolina in the future."

May God bless and keep you,

Thomas W. Currie

The Foundation for Reformed Theology exists to support pastors in their work of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. In so doing, we seek to encourage them in their ministries, strengthening them through the reading and reflecting upon classic texts found in Reformed theology. To support this effort, I invite you to make a gift to the Foundation for Reformed Theology. You may do so online at: or by sending your donation to Foundation for Reformed Theology, C/o Union Presbyterian Seminary, 5141 Sharon Rd., Charlotte, North Carolina 28210.

Foundation for Reformed Theology | (704) 293-0881 | C/o Union Presbyterian Seminary, 5141 Sharon Rd., Charlotte, North Carolina 28210 |

Foundation for Reformed Theology – Better Preaching, Better Teaching, Better Pastoral Care Gathers ministers and elders into ongoing communities of guided study, Provides for the in-depth reading and recovery of the historic faith and theology of the church, Helps these leaders better understand and apply that to the current life of the church, and thus Contributes to building up the chur...

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