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Spring 2019 UPDATE Magazine

Two years ago, Protestants around the world celebrated the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Few questioned the importance of this event in the history of the church. This year we celebrate another important anniversary—the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort. Yet some are left wondering whether Dort bears any importance for today’s church. After all, Dort’s legacy simply is the five points of Calvinism, right? Certainly it is true that Dort’s defense of biblical, Reformed Christianity against the Remonstrants, who were followers of Jacobus Arminius, during a time when the direction of the Reformed church hung in the balance is crucial to its legacy. But it is important also that we appreciate the pastoral nature of the Canons of Dort. As W. Robert Godfrey, WSC President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Church history, so helpfully highlights in his new book, Saving the Reformation (Reformation Trust), “The Synod of Dort worthily taught and preserved for the churches a God-glorifying religion, a God-centered life, and a God-given comfort.” Westminster Seminary California seeks to continue Dort’s legacy of defending Reformed faith, piety, and practice through the preparation of ministers of Christ’s church who are experts in the Bible and faithful shepherds of God’s flock.

In this issue, we examine the legacy of Dort and what it can teach us today. Who better to help us appreciate the importance of the Synod of Dort for modern Christians than Dr. Godfrey? In his featured article (p. 4), he makes a compelling case that the Canons are important both for what they teach us and how they teach us. Also in this issue, current student Marc Scaturro (p. 8) tells the story of God’s abundant grace in his life and how he came to WSC. Alumnus Owen Lee (p. 18) shares how his biblical training at WSC prepared him to wrestle with what it means to be an Asian-American pastor in the United States. Finally, Bill Green, a member of WSC’s first graduating class, discusses the importance of the Canons of Dort for his ministry in Latin America (p. 26).

As always, we covet your faithful prayers and support as WSC seeks to work for Christ, his gospel, and his church.