Reformed Theology which arose out of the 16thcentury Reformation is a school of thought which has taken a number of forms and produced many confessions and catechisms. Despite this rich theological heritage, many people in our churches are unaware of their history and their Scottish theological tradition. Part of the work of RCRT will be to teach and promote Reformed Theology and to remind people of the biblical and theological roots of the Reformed tradition.
At the same time, we believe we must show the relevance of Reformed Theology for the 21stcentury. The issues we face today are not the same as those faced by our forebears in the 16thand 17thcenturies. For that reason, we must develop our Reformed Theology, to make it fit for purpose in our present situation. There are various ways in which this can be done. For example:
- Professor McGowan, in his capacity as Chairman of the Theological Commission of the World Reformed Fellowship, led an international group of scholars in writing a new ‘Statement of Faith’, applying our Reformed theology to the issues of today. That Statement is written in the form of a Confession of Faith and is now available in ten languages.
- That same Theological Commission is now working on a Statement of Practice seeking to define what Reformed Theology is and what it means to be ‘Reformed’ in the 21stcentury. That work is due to be completed and presented to the General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship in August in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- Last year, Professor McGowan and a ministerial colleague, the Rev Ian Manson, were invited to lead a day conference for the Presbytery of Inverness on the subject of Presbyterianism. This traced the rise and development of Reformed Theology with particular emphasis on Calvin’s work in Geneva and Knox’s work in Scotland.
- RCRT is open to invitations to teach and lead discussions and seminars on the history and theology of the Reformed Faith. It is also open to invitations to churches to explain the history and doctrinal convictions which form the basis of Reformed Theology.