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Plough Quarterly No.14: Re-Formation

Autumn 2017

Featured Articles

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front cover of Plough Quarterly Autumn 2017

About This Issue

This year’s five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation comes just as Christianity is undergoing what may prove to be its biggest recalibration since the fourth century. Christendom, the system in which Christianity shaped Western laws and society as the majority religion, has been shaky since the Enlightenment. Now it’s in its death throes, felled by secularization, consumerism, and the sexual revolution. For better or worse, Christians must learn to be a minority. There’s no better time than now to recall Karl Barth’s dictum: the church must always be reformed. What is the re-formed church we need now?

In this issue, George Weigel and Eberhard Arnold call the church to turn back to its sources and to seek renewal in the example of the first Christians, for whom Christianity was not just a Sunday religion or a private affair. It meant belonging to the fellowship of disciples, whose way of life was countercultural to that of the surrounding pagan society, as Rowan Williams points out. Today, Christians of all traditions are realizing that we are again called, in the words of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, to form a creative minority. Pastors Jin Kim and Claudio Oliver explore how to practice communal Christianity in different contexts, and Andreas Knapp and Cécile Massie document the vibrancy of the persecuted church in Syria and Turkey. Editor Peter Mommsen explores the legacy and triumph of the Radical Reformation.