Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
2017 is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 theses, what traditionally is known as the beginning of the Reformation. We join the celebration in giving thanks to God for this rediscovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our emphasis will be on the theology of the Reformation and its ongoing historical legacy, with a specific focus on the biblical gospel of grace, rediscovered by the Reformers (Luther referred to himself and the movement as Evangelicals, not Protestants), and its impact historically on the EFCA.
Our 2017 Theology Conference will be held February 1-3 on the campus of Trinity International University. In the introduction to the conference, we will focus on the EFCA’s roots in the Reformation and the Reformation’s legacy in the EFCA.
Introduction: Reformation, Protestantism, Evangelicalism and the EFCA
All Protestants trace their history to the Reformation. The same is true of Evangelicals. In fact, the Reformers preferred the term Evangelical to Protestant, since the former arises from and connects to the gospel, that central truth that was rediscovered and actually led to the Reformation.
The same is true for those of us in the Evangelical Free Church of America. Not only do we trace our history to the Reformation, we also are grounded in the gospel. Although most are clear on our roots, not many know or are aware of the historical stream of the Reformation leading into the EFCA.
In this introductory message, we will focus specifically on the EFCA’s roots in the Reformation, the historical causes that led to the EFCA, and the Reformation’s legacy in the EFCA, all of which influence and affect who we are today.
We are excited for this Theology Conference, as it will be excellent. Not only are we addressing the Reformation, a timely and important theme in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of Luther posting the 95 Theses, but we have some of the foremost scholars addressing the various themes/topics of the Conference.