Reformation 500: Theology and Legacy – Introduction: Reformation, Protestantism, Evangelicalism and the EFCA

Greg Strand – November 29, 2016 Leave a comment

2017 is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 theses, what traditionally is known as the beginning of the Reformation. We join the celebration in giving thanks to God for this rediscovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our emphasis will be on the theology of the Reformation and its ongoing historical legacy, with a specific focus on the biblical gospel of grace, rediscovered by the Reformers (Luther referred to himself and the movement as Evangelicals, not Protestants), and its impact historically on the EFCA.

Our 2017 Theology Conference will be held February 1-3 on the campus of Trinity International University. In the introduction to the conference, we will focus on the EFCA’s roots in the Reformation and the Reformation’s legacy in the EFCA.

Introduction: Reformation, Protestantism, Evangelicalism and the EFCA

All Protestants trace their history to the Reformation. The same is true of Evangelicals. In fact, the Reformers preferred the term Evangelical to Protestant, since the former arises from and connects to the gospel, that central truth that was rediscovered and actually led to the Reformation.

The same is true for those of us in the Evangelical Free Church of America. Not only do we trace our history to the Reformation, we also are grounded in the gospel. Although most are clear on our roots, not many know or are aware of the historical stream of the Reformation leading into the EFCA.

In this introductory message, we will focus specifically on the EFCA’s roots in the Reformation, the historical causes that led to the EFCA, and the Reformation’s legacy in the EFCA, all of which influence and affect who we are today.

We are excited for this Theology Conference, as it will be excellent. Not only are we addressing the Reformation, a timely and important theme in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of Luther posting the 95 Theses, but we have some of the foremost scholars addressing the various themes/topics of the Conference.

You can read more about the Conference, the speakers and the schedule here. Please register here. Plan to attend with other staff, elders or leaders in the church.


Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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