Reformation Series – What Christians can do when they are world-changing not in-fighting – John Roxborogh

John Roxborogh is a retired minister/historian and has taught at the Knox Centre

First Church Papakura still has a large palm tree on its road frontage. In the 1960’s it was said that hardly a session meeting went by without some debate about having it removed. They also had some very real theological differences, yet for many that era was a golden age when they got on with changing the world in terms of the issues of the day. Continue reading

The Irrelevance of John Calvin – Murray Rae

Murray Rae is Professor of Theology at Otago University and a Presbyterian Minister.  He was also an editor of Candour in the 1990s.

When we look back to the sixteenth century, to the time of the Reformation, we see a world vastly different from our own. The great Reformer, John Calvin, could hardly have imagined the world we now inhabit. He might have struggled to recognise as well the present reality of the church — its form, its daily life, its existence on the margins of society. The form of society itself is also very different now than it was in Calvin’s day, and so the church faces challenges in mission that Calvin is unlikely to have envisaged. It is curious then to look back at reformers like Calvin, to figure out what made them tick, and to try to understand the concerns of their own time. Continue reading

A World Ripe for Reforming? – by Carolyn Kelly

Carolyn currently Maclaurin Chaplain at the University of Auckland, where she heads a team of part-time and bi-vocational chaplains exploring ministry together in a large, diverse and rapidly changing campus. A former MA graduate of UoA, she later completed a BD at the University of Otago and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, before becoming ordained through the PCANZ.  She is married to Mark Johnston and the parent of three young-adult offspring, with whom she enjoys wrestling with the ways and words of gospel-shaped living. She lives in inner-city Auckland.

Imagine a world:

…in which technology brings unprecedented change in rural areas; the young and the landless seek better lives in great, bustling cities – but end up homeless and jobless, as urban poor; Continue reading

500 Years On #1: The most influential Reformer you’ve never heard of, by Peter Matheson

Peter Matheson leads off a series in Candour marking 500 years since the Reformation.  Peter served as Professor of Church History at Knox Theological Hall and still resides in the Dunedin area.

Everyone’s heard of Luther and Calvin. But the Reformation was a movement, not a one man gang, and a very varied movement at that. There were women Reformers, like Katherine Zell in Strassburg and the aristocratic Argula von Grumbach. And there were radical Reformers, who thought power had gone to Luther’s head and he was acting like a new Pope.

Thomas Müntzer was a lively, highly controversial Reformer. Continue reading