[[UPDATE: 12/8/12 – Please note Dr. R. S. Clark’s comments below; he’s a dear friend of mine and his notes below are worth considering. This is a discussion worth having in a cordial, brotherly way. I do not claim to have the last word, nor do I think the last word has been spoken on this topic.]]
I’m not entirely comfortable with the term “the Reformed Faith.” I cherish, teach, and defend Reformation truths, but I avoid using the term “the Reformed Faith.” I don’t think it is helpful. I like how Mike Horton explains this topic.
“Although we do not have a God’s-eye perspective, we do belong to a community that is defined by the inbreaking of the age to come that relativizes all times and places, putting in jeopardy all of our cherished locations in this age. It even challenges our tendency to find our ultimate identity in our own denomination or tradition. While vigilant to uncover our own prejudices that work against it, we strive toward a catholic hearing of God’s Word. From this perspective we should not speak of a Reformed faith or an Orthodox theology or a Lutheran confession, but of a Christian faith, theology, and confession, from a Reformed, Orthodox, or Lutheran perspective.” Michael Horton, People and Place (Louisville: WJK, 2008), 210.
Horton says the following elsewhere:
“In my view, it is inappropriate for us to refer to our [Reformed/Presbyterian] confession as the Reformed Faith. The Reformed churches did not (and do not) believe that they were confessing the Reformed Faith, but that they were confessing the ‘undoubted Christian Faith’ in their confessions and catechisms. There is a reason that this wing of the Reformation called itself ‘Reformed.’ Unlike the Anabaptists, Reformed churches understood themselves as a continuing branch of the catholic church. At the same time, the Reformed wanted to reform everything ‘according to the Word of God.’ Not only our doctrine, but our worship and life must be determined by Scripture and not by human whim or creativity.” Always Reformed (Escondido: Westminster Seminary California, 2010), 123.
I don’t mean to be a semantical nitpicker, and I realize I may be in the minority here, but for reasons Mike Horton noted I dislike the term “the Reformed Faith.” Instead, I use other terms like “the Reformed tradition,” or “the Reformed part/branch of Christianity,” or “the Reformed perspective” or something similar. So I don’t use the term “the Reformed Faith” on this blog or in my other writings. Now you know…the rest of the story.