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Reformation in Korea

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Yullin Presbyterian ChurchI just returned from Korea, after 10 days of fellowship with brothers and sisters seeking a new Reformation not only in their own nation but also throughout Asia. Much as is the case in the U.S., the vitality of sound faith and practice in Korean churches has been challenged by consumerism, pragmatism, and Arminian revivalism. The history is rich, especially given the fact that the earliest missions were dominated by Presbyterian leaders and the Presbyterian Church (mainline as well as conservative denominations) remains the largest body there. However, a number of solid Reformed and Presbyterian leaders there are longing for a new Reformation that will recover a more Christ-centered, Word-proclaiming, and doctrinally sound faith and practice.

Together with my colleague, Julius Kim (and our wives), I was treated to the remarkable hospitality of several churches and institutions. Sponsored by the Yullin Presbyterian Church in Seoul, the trip included a conference at Yullin on recovering Reformed theology and worship, with 1400 conferees. I also spoke at Hapdong Theological Seminary and Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology and preached at Yullin Church and Jesus Family Presbyterian Church. The trip also included interviews with one of the largest newspapers in Korea as well as the Ministry and Theology Journal, the most widely read Christian magazine in Korea. Lastly, I gave a lecture at the Korean Reformed Theological Society meeting.

Three things especially encouraged me.

First, Yullin-pastored by The Rev. Nam-Joon Kim, is a hub of reformation not only in Korea but throughout Asia, especially China. It's one of the most rigorous disciple-making churches I've encountered, with serious courses in Scripture and Christian doctrine required for membership and even more for office-bearers. The church even houses an amazing collection of sixteenth and seventeenth-century books and manuscripts as well as a whole team that oversees a bee-hive of activity for database and curriculum development. Among the 4,500 members are many young people, hungering for God's Word. Out of this concern for truth there is an amazing range of efforts in missions, evangelism, and outreach in Seoul and beyond. It's truly remarkable to see such a dedication to getting the gospel right and getting it out!

Second, Reformation and Revival Publishing, under the leadership of The Rev. Geum-San Baek, has been translating and publishing all of my books and we are even talking about the possibility of a Korean edition of Modern Reformation.

Third, my interest in expanding our reach into China was encouraged by conversations with Pastor Nam-Joon Kim and others who have established contacts throughout the house church movement. As the Christian movement grows there (soon China will have the largest Christian population in the world), the opportunity to infuse it with Reformation theology is very exciting.

As we continue this fellowship with like-minded brothers and sisters in Asia, please pray that White Horse Inn and Modern Reformation will be able to make the most of strategic opportunities.

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  • Guest - John Mashek

    I just happened to read this post by Michael Horton and was really impressed and pleased.
    I am a Lutheran pastor but to hear that Reformation theology is being studied is encouraging.
    I was wondering if there were resources for more info on the reformed movement in Korea.
    John M.

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  • Guest - Chris Ashton

    Thanks for this update, Michael. I have just prayed, giving great thanks to our faithful God for these things, and asking his blessing on the various ministries you have mentioned.

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  • Guest - Peter Kim

    I regularly listen to those two Korean pastors and I regularly buy and read from Reformation and Revival Publishing in Korea. It's great to see Dr. Horton develop relationship with them. I just went to the Yullin church website and listened to one of your sermons. Thanks Dr. Horton!

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  • Guest - Hansoo

    Do you know of a conservative reformed church in Seoul that has an english speaking service? I've been trying to find one to attend this Sunday and I haven't had any luck whatsover. I would appreciate any assistance I could get. Thanks.

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  • Guest - Eric Landry

    @Hansoo: You might try the 12:00pm worship service at Yullin Church (just south of Seoul in Anyang) that has English translation available (http://eng.yullin.org/worship.html).

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  • @Hansoo: You may also want to consider Covenant church located near Jamsil. We are a 2 year old reformed, Gospel-centered church that has an afternoon English worship service (conducted in English) at 2:00pm. If you are interested, please refer to our website: www.seoulcovenant.com The Lord bless your search!

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  • Guest - will cote

    There is a Reformed English speaking church in Seoul --> seoulcovenant.com. It's at Sincheon (in Jamsil) station.

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  • Guest - Noye Doulos

    Hello. Reformation and Revival Publishing was mentioned above in the post and comments. I can't seem to find a WEBSITE ADDRESS for that publisher or even for books made by that publisher. Can somebody point me to that address or any alternative where I can purchase Reformed books translated into Korean? Thank you.

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  • [...] at Yullin on recovering Reformed theology and worship, with 1400 conferees. I also spoke at& Read more& No Comments » Click here to cancel [...]

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