Michael Horton and the WHI Team are launching an exciting new column in Modern Reformation. Our prayer is that this new feature encourages all of us as we see Christ building his church around the world, a church against which the gates of hell shall never prevail (Matt. 16:18). This new initiative invites our brother and sister theologians from around the world to share theological essays that demonstrate why sound doctrine is critical to vigorous church growth. From São Paolo to Nairobi and from New Delhi to Jakarta, we believe that the challenges of our time are met with vibrant, healthy churches no matter where we live and worship.
The Need of the Hour
During my undergraduate years at Michigan State University, the Lord graciously called me to Christ through my involvement with the Navigators. Our Bible study leaders challenged us to put Christ first when we thought about our callings in the world of employment, friendships, and family. One challenge repeated over and over was in the form of a question: What is the need of the hour?
Before seminary and thirty years of tentmaking missions work all over the world, I answered that question with myself at the center. God just needed, I thought, a few men and women willing to give up everything and go to the remotest parts of the world; then he could reach the world for Christ. I was unaware that my self-centered approach neglected the organized church as the main factor in God’s equation to get his gospel out to our needy world. I missed seeing that God answers that question with his original group project—the church.
Churches are made up of individuals, of course, and the role of White Horse Inn for thirty years has been to equip individuals to become contributing members of a biblical church. We long to encourage members of local churches to pursue Christ and know the joy God holds out to those who are members of his own body.
We desire to come alongside these churches and encourage brothers and sisters on their pilgrim journey. This fellowship of the saints, guided and taught by the Holy Spirit, is the primary way Christ manifests himself in this age until he returns to set up the new heavens and the new earth. The need of the hour is the same now as it was during the time of the disciples: we need healthy churches.
Modern Reformation’s Contribution: “The Global Theological Forum”
Our promotion of healthy churches happens through our various media initiatives that help believers know what they believe and why they believe it. One of our most effective and popular means to accomplish this happens through our magazine Modern Reformation.
At Modern Reformation, we want to continue our long-standing dedication and contribution to healthy local churches by launching “The Global Theological Forum.” This new column, which will be featured in each issue, will provide our Modern Reformation readers with firsthand accounts of God’s work among his people in places unfamiliar to us. Our brothers and sisters leading and building up churches around the world will encourage us with their theological editorials that come from their uniquely rich cultural contexts. Because of the gracious support and prayers of friends like you, we’ve established this new theological project. Many of the theologians we will feature as part of “The Global Theological Forum” have become friends over the years through those academic conferences for which you’ve prayed and supported.
We have much to learn from these international scholars. We are praying that this mutual sharpening of iron on iron will bring praise to our Lord as we band together to see the gospel, in all its fullness and power, preached and taught in churches throughout the world. We are praying that “The Global Theological Forum” will provide our brothers and sisters with a platform to share with us how God is working in their lives and churches. We pray that their wisdom and experience will strengthen and challenge us to be faithful disciples in all our particular contexts.
Please continue to pray for us as we seek to honor our global colleagues with this initiative, and as we seek to see healthy churches multiplied all over the world. Above all, may it bring abundant praise and glory to our Lord of the harvest.
Mark Green is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and president of White Horse Inn.