Stott: Reform, Don’t Follow Church Traditions.

Stott: Reform, Don’t Follow Church Traditions. March 15, 2024

How attached are you to what your church teaches you? Many Christians are committed to doctrinal statements, the teachings of their denomination, and even the practices that they have inherited from the past.  What can sometimes be forgotten is that most of those traditions if you are in an evangelical church were forged out of a desire to be Biblical and reformed.  But Reformation is not a once for all thing.  Stott explains:

“The hallmark of authentic evangelicalism is not that we maintain the traditions of the evangelical elders. It is rather that we are prepared to reexamine even the most long-standing evangelical traditions in the light of Scripture, in order to allow Scripture, if necessary, to judge and reform our traditions. Evangelical traditions are not infallible; they need to be reexamined. They need to be judged. They need to be reformed.”

John Stott

How much do we allow the Bible to challenge and ultimately shape our teachings and practice? Or are we so committed to being loyal to the traditions that we have inherited that we follow them instead?  Evangelicals are meant to have the Bible as our sole authority. And in reading it we should find that there are verses that challenge what we have been taught and make us think again or at least appreciate the perspective of those who might have other views.

As Tim Keller puts it:

“If the Bible never challenges your assumptions, it’s possible you aren’t really hearing it.”  Twitter

We must allow the Bible to force us to examine all our traditions and potentially reform them once again.  We can learn from one another’s different church traditions and we read authors who disagree with some of our theological positions.

If we don’t honor the Word of God above the teachings of those that have gone before we risk running into a similar trap to what Jesus said the Pharisees had fallen into:

“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.” Mark 7:13, NIV


You can own 600 sermons preached by John Stott in audio and transcript form fully integrated with Logos Bible Software.  Many years of sermons by Tim Keller are also available in Logos. Sermons by great preachers are a great addition to your Logos library because using the Passage Guide you can easily find what they preached on a verse you are looking at. Perhaps the best of all  is Spurgeon’s massive sermon collection the best way to get them is as part of the Logos 10 Baptist Silver Collection or above.  

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