This past week, I attended The Gospel Coalition’s conference that focused on celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It was a powerful time of celebration with brothers and sisters from all over the world. As I reflect on it, I am struck by the fact, that we were celebrating those who had gone before us. It wasn’t focused on the things we had come up with in the 21st century, but rather it helped us see that we have all been receivers of a great tradition. We are not self-made, but we have been formed by those who have gone before us. Michael Horton says,
We are always standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, taking for granted many conclusions that we have learned from a larger consensus. We are heirs of truth and error, clarity and confusion, faithfulness and folly. Only by engaging the past can we acquire the resources for interpreting Scripture in our own time and place. (The Christian Faith, 28)
We have received both good and bad from people from our past. We must now seek to correct the bad and herald the good. All the while knowing, that the next generation will have plenty to correct from our generation’s mistakes.