Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Reformation and Ecclesiology: Calvin's Ordinances ~ English-Mandarin Bi-lingual Open seminar

While the world is crazy about what to do on Halloween (especially in this Cosplay era) which is next Tuesday, the Reformed Christians are commemorating the 500th year since Martin Lurther pinned Ninety-five Theses on churches in Wittenberg, which is also serves as the foundation of Protestant Christianity. It is also known as Reformation Day (31st October).

I attended public seminar by China Horizon which focused on the above titles because this kind of topics usually attracted me (ya, I love boring subjects...). This will help me to understand the basis of my belief, too. On top of that, it was hold at my church (so ya, it is good to go home...)!
It was taught by Dr Samuel Ling (my favorite pastor, too due to his prowess in Chinese, English and music) and just in case you are not familiar with him, he taught in bilingual simultaneously and he told us why during the seminar.

Here are the notes distributed during the seminar and below are some more points by Dr Samuel Ling, from my memory (correct me if I am wrong, OK?):

  • Calvinism is not equal to predestination, the latter is just part of what John Calvin taught. Predestination was first mentioned by Augustine of Canterbury (long before John Calvin was born).
  • Puritans were technically Calvinist which gathered like Congregational and belongs to Church of England.
  • Education, since it was established during the Academy (1559) should includes both academic and non-academic subjects because we need to understand God' world (liberal, humanities) first before we can understand God's words (bible).
  • Instead of reading bible as a magazine (by gossiping on the content like is Jonah saved?), we should read it with thinking (by asking proper questions, refer notes above).
  • Reformation, is not about creating something new, as depicted by the literal and secular meaning of this word. It is about going back to where it all started.
  • With slight irrespective elements to a lot of churches nowadays (political correctness), churches today, especially those independent churches, Church should be built on biblical foundation where it is neither authoritarian nor democratic, it should be like those during Calvin ages where Presbyterian (teacher, pastor, deacon in today language) was elected by the Congregation yet rules over them but any individual pastor is subject to supervision within the Council so that there is mutual support and discipline among the ministers.
  • In order to help ourselves in deepening our faith, try spending 90 minutes a day in reading bible and complimentary good study materials, pray. In long run, this help to increase our English/Chinese literacy, too.

There are few further reading materials, 3 of them we used for this seminar were,

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