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There are extremely few Reformed churches in Thailand, although there are a number of missionaries and Thai Christians who are Calvinistic or Gospel-centered/Christ-centered to some degree, scattered throughout various churches and mission organizations in Thailand.
In Bangkok, there are no Reformed churches with international services that are completely in English. If you are looking for an compeletely English language service, please see my list here.
If you'd like to visit a Thai church, there are two Reformed churches in Bangkok that I know and can recommend. Both have connections to Mission to the World (MTW), the denominational mission board of the Presbyterian Church in America.New City Fellowship Church
This church is in southeastern Bangkok, right next to Ramkhamheng University 2 campus. They worship on Sunday mornings in Thai, and there is sometimes translation of the sermon for non-Thai speaking visitors.
Website: http://www.ncfcthailand.org/Grace City Bangkok Church
This is a new church plant since 2013, and is currently meeting for worship at 4pm on Sunday afternoons. This is a Thai-speaking church, although there are a large amount of bi-lingual folks there, both Thai and foreign, and the sermon translation into English is available.
At the end of October 2017, I had the pleasure of visiting Wittenberg, Germany to attend a Reformation 500 conference put on by the World Reformed Fellowship, and to visit some of the famous places associated with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation in Wittenberg. In many ways, it was a surreal experience to be in Wittenberg and to walk where Luther walked, to see his house, his table, the Castle church, and to imagine what the village of Wittenberg would have been like 500 years ago. In this post, I want to share a few of my personal reflections on visiting Wittenberg in order to help all of us to gain some insight into the past and its relevance (or lack thereof) for the present.
1) The Commercialization of Luther
One of the remarkable things about the unremarkable little town of Wittenberg is the marketing of Luther and His image. This town has one claim to fame, and that’s Luther. So they are trying to milk Luther for all he is worth. You can buy anything imaginable with Luther’s image on it. Luther coffee mugs. Luther plates. Luther socks. Luther pasta. Luther cookie cutters. Luther t-shirts. Luther posters. Luther books. Luther mini-statues. Luther beer. Luther wine. Luther re-imagined as Che Guevara “Viva La Reformation!” It just seems like too much. Admittedly, I did buy a couple Luther posters, a mug, and postcards. And the Luther socks. They were hilarious. The calf is emblazoned with “Here I Stand. I Can Do No Other” and it struck my funny bone. That said, I came away wondering if Luther is more than a marketing opportunity for the residents of Wittenberg. Do the people selling Luther memorabilia embrace what the Reformer stood for, or is this just a way to make money?
We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God's truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God's displeasure, except by His mercy.
We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God's people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.
We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Reformed literature in Thai is very hard to find. If we define the term "Reformed" somewhat broadly, then some Reformed titles may be found at various Thai publishers. A few of those titles don't seem to be translated well, so I can not recommend them with confidence. However, I can recommend the following titles
Published by Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand):
The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul (currently out-of-print)Concise Theology by J.I. PackerPilgrim's Progress by John BunyanToday's Gospel by Walter Chantry Self-Image: How to Overcome Inferiority Judgments (Resources for Biblical Living) by Lou Priolo
Published by Biblica:
Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Available for free online:
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Thai can be downloaded here.
The Heidelberg Catechism in Thai can be downloaded here.
reviewed by Karl DahlfredThe Creedal Imperative, by Carl Trueman. (Crossway, 2012, 208pp.)Within the world of evangelical Protestantism, creeds have fallen on hard times. They are old, irrelevant, and go into way too much detail about non-essential doctrinal points that just cause conflict. “Doctrine divides, mission unites,” as they say. Therefore, it is a massively difficult task that Carl Trueman has taken on in “The Creedal Imperative”, making the case that not only are creeds helpful, but also essential to the life of the church. For many people, the whole idea of creeds conjures up words like “dry,” “dusty,” and “academic” but Trueman does a brilliant job of making his case for creeds readable and understandable for those who are not familiar with them, and are not sure whether they should be.From the very first page, Trueman addresses himself to the popular objections to creeds. His leading example is a pastor who claimed that his church had no creed but the Bible, yet at the same time taught the five points of Calvinism, dispensationalism, and form of church government drawn from the Plymouth Brethren. Trueman points out that while this pastor’s church claimed “its only creed was the Bible, it actually connected in terms of the details of its life and teaching to almost no other congregation in the history of the church. Clearly, the church did have a creed, a summary view of what the Bible taught on grace, eschatology, and ecclesiology; it was just that nobody ever wrote it down and set it out in public.” (Kindle Locations 119-122)
Reviewed by James Steer
What is the mission of the Church? That’s the question DeYoung and Gilbert seek to answer in this book. Their motivation for writing is to clarify some of the current confusion within evangelicalism, particularly with regard to what individual Christians and what the Church should be doing. They also seek to elucidate what is God’s work, and what is our work. In the opening chapter they ask “what do we even mean by mission?” before asking several other pertinent questions: “is the mission of the church discipleship or good deeds or both? ... Is the mission of the church distinct from the responsibilities of other Christians? ... What should be the church’s role in pursuing social justice?” (p. 16, italics original).
R.C. Sproul, The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, (Wheaton, Ill., Crossway, 2011)-reviewed by Karl DahlfredHow do you put church history, theology, and practical instruction on prayer all together into a children’s book? You write about Martin Luther getting a haircut, of course!In “The Barber Who Wanted to Pray”, R.C. Sproul has come up with a clever way to bring down to a children’s level Martin Luther’s occasional tract, “A Simple Way to Pray”. As one would expect from Sproul, the text is weighty and informative, yet written in a clear and simple style. And to further hold the attention of children (and adults), each page of Sproul’s text is complemented by a beautiful full-page illustration from T. Lively Fluharty.
Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture, by David VanDrunen (Crossway Books, 2010, 208pp.)----- reviewed by Karl DahlfredShould Christians be transforming the culture? Is there a specifically Christian way of being a teacher, politician, or businessman? Is there a difference between what individual Christians are called to do, and what the church is called to do as an institution? What is the “kingdom of God” and what does it mean to do “kingdom work”? These are some of the questions that drive David VanDrunen’s recent book on two kingdoms theology. The term “two kingdoms” is unfortunately not very well known outside Reformed and Lutheran circles. This is a real shame because I found the two kingdoms, as VanDrunen lays it out, to be a helpful and Biblical framework for understanding the relationship between Christianity and culture. And the world of evangelical Christianity certainly needs more thoughtful reflection on how to approach culture as a whole.
Confessions of faith, creeds, and catechisms have largely fallen into disuse among evangelical Protestant churches. They are still around and used regularly in some churches but by and large have fallen by the wayside as many believers and churches have put more emphasis on experience and just loving Jesus. Or some have claimed that "we have no creed but the Bible" but as soon as you say "I believe that the Bible teaches such and such" you have made a summary statement about Biblical teaching. Such a summary is in essence a creed or confession. No statement of faith ever takes the place of the Bible but it can be a good tool to help people get an overview of what the Bible teaches and learning how to express what we believe the Bible teaches. Some confessions or creeds are better than others but a good one should contain nothing that can't be fairly clearly deduced from Scripture. Along these lines, I wanted to share a brief story from the autobiography of Daniel McGilvary, pioneer missionary to Northern Thailand:
"In May 1876, Nan Inta was ordained our first ruling elder. The story has oft been told that before his ordination the [Westminster] Confession of Faith was give him to read carefully, since he would be asked whether he subscribed to its doctrines. When he had finished the reading, he remarked that he saw nothing peculiar in its teachings. It was very much like what he had read in Paul's epistles!" (Daniel McGilvary, "A Half Century among the Siamese and Lao: An Autobiography", Fleming H. Revell Company, New York, 1912, p.169-170)