Gospel Reformed vs Being too Reformed

The gospel and triperspectivalism are essential for reformed people. Why?  Because all too often we see a strong relationship between being 'reformed' and being contentious (see 1Tim3:3).  The other day someone posted an 'ultra-reformed' reply on an old post.  I went to his blog and found a numerous posts bashing Rick Warren, Benny Hinn, Market-Driven churches and the Emerging movement.  I can't say I disagreed with some of the assessments, but to have the majority of your posts be negative/attacks seems pretty high.  It reminded me of my past, where I was more concerned with winning the argument than loving a person.  

Be only as reformed as the gospel allows. 

The gospel changes us to hopefully be more grace-filled in how we approach others.  As we grow in the gospel, we should become both more humble personally yet confident in Jesus.  We can rejoice in the identity we have already been given of perfect sonship.  The gospel removes the 'poke-them-in-the-eye' debate mentality to win at all costs.  The gospel means we are more concerned with mission than shooting Christians in the back on the way to war.

Secondly, perspectivalism helps us become a more well-rounded person through community.  I believe that those who come to the reformed position tend to be prophets.  Prophets can become doctrine-focused/Normative.  As John Frame writes in his Primer on Perspectivalism:

…perspectivalism is an encouragement to the unity of the church. Sometimes our divisions of theology and practice are differences of perspective, of balance, rather than differences over the essentials of faith. So perspectivalism will help us better to appreciate one another, and to appreciate the diversity of God’s work among us

  • Brandon Richards

    June 8, 2007, 2:41 pm

    Those are some quality statements. I really believe you are correct and Christian’s are too quick to beat their brothers and sisters down rather than bear their burdens with them. I’m interested in your statement, “believe that those who come to the reformed position tend to be prophets. Prophets can become doctrine-focused/Normative”.

    I’m not sure I follow that statement exactly. Can you explain?

  • D. Goodmanson

    June 8, 2007, 2:46 pm

    For more on the prophet/normative read:

    Quote from one of the posts:

    PROPHET strength РYou are a visionary who has a burning desire to ‘preach the word of God’. You love to learn, read, study God’s Word and teach/preach it to the people. You see the normative standards declared by scripture and want all humanity to see this as well.

    PROPHET weakness РA visionary leading people without a plan is going for a walk by themselves. As mentioned in this post, a Prophet can preach ‘Christ-centered‘ (norm, information) rather than ‘gospel-centered‘ messages. You can preach Christ and crush your people with the news, law and perfection of Christ.

  • Mike Edwards

    June 8, 2007, 7:34 pm


    I wonder how far to take that or how to contextualize it. For example, in a church context, do you have elders who are both reformed and not? In other words, can elders in one church hold different perspectives on this issue but be learning together in community and serve the mission of the gospel.

    Why or why not?

  • peavyhouse

    June 8, 2007, 7:35 pm

    I’ve read your blog for a while, but never commented. You have some great insights and I really enjoyed all I have read and thought through. Where did you get the first quote you have listed? Is it also from Frame? I think I am going to start using it with the seminary crowd in our current plant. It is perfect, but who do I credit?

  • D. Goodmanson

    June 8, 2007, 8:09 pm

    Mike – My case isn’t against reformed theology. Personally, without the doctrines of grace I believe too much damage would be caused to a church. Perspectives relate to John Frames’ tri- or multiperspectival views of Prophet/Priest/King.

    Peavyhouse – That is my own quote. I just indented it, didn’t mean to quote myself.

  • Brandon Richards

    June 11, 2007, 11:37 am

    I think I’m beginning to understand what you are saying now.

    It was confusing to me that you were using prophet as one of the three classifications. The view I have of a prophet was someone who is the mouth piece of God. Someone like Jesus, who hears from the Father and speaks it to the people, and one of the offices such as Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, etc.

  • Mike Edwards

    June 14, 2007, 4:37 am


    I know the issue isn’t reformed theology. But it seemed the case you were making was for “getting along” with those who aren’t as ‘reformed’ or was I misunderstanding? I was asking how you felt boundaries should be drawn when it comes to reformed v. not reformed theology within a church community? Between members/elders or even between elders?

    Why or why wouldn’t you think it advisable to have a reformed and non reformed pastor on staff or as elders?

  • D. Goodmanson

    June 14, 2007, 8:15 am

    Mike – Reformed/Non-Reformed pastors will handle problems totally diff’t. They will not agree on the problems or the solutions.