The Splintering of Canadian Reformed Evangelicalism


It was so good to see many of our pastors at the clusters last week! It is good that we can look back over the summer months and remember the faithfulness of God. It is also good that we have opportunity to get together with other men in ministry to encourage, to pray, to laugh, and to cry together. We are absolutely stronger together.

I point you to a recent article by our very own Jeff Eastwood. He piggy-backed on an article by Kevin DeYoung to ask “Why Canadian Reformed Evangelicalism has splintered.” Whether your church would be classified as Reformed or not, there is much good in considering what is written here. Jeff not only presents some reasons for the splintering, but gives some practical examples of how the splintering in seen in our country.

 Jeff concludes with three ways he hopes the church is helped by thinking through this article:

First, we should always be praying for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (John 13:35, 17:20-21, Ephesians 4:3). Rather than looking for any opportunity to distinguish ourselves from our fellow believers, we should actively seek to love, support, and collaborate with them as much as we can.

To quote Haldir from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, “Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.”[15] May this not be true of Canadian Christianity.

Second, we should engage in healthy introspection. Kevin’s call to understand our cultural context as well as ourselves should be heeded as we attempt to untangle biblical truth from our own cultural moods, political instincts, and personal sensibilities.

Clarity on the difference between biblical principles and applications as well as first, second, and third-tier issues within Scripture are always needed, but now more than ever.

Third, we should resist the urge to place people in categories, especially with the intent of exposing them as unbiblical, and instead we should seek to understand their background, motivation, and intent.

Treating each other as brothers and sisters, as family members we will spend eternity with, would go a long way in stemming the tide of division, unbiblical rebuke, and false accusations.

As Hebrews 13:1 says, “Let brotherly love continue.”

Lord, may it be.

May God bless you and keep you.

Andrew Swanson
President of Fellowship Atlantic

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