Did the Reformers Believe in the Great Commission?

The leaders of the Protestant Reformation are often regarded as caring only about internal reform, not mission. Is that stereotype accurate?

Special guest Jonathan Arnold, an Oxford graduate, author, and Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College, joins us to discuss a critical question as we remember the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Did the Reformers really believe in missions and evangelism, or were they guilty of only focusing inward on the church itself? Did missions go on “hiatus” in the times pan between the death of the apostles and the ministry of William Carey?

Having grown up in Central Louisiana as the son of a Southern Baptist minister, Jonathan Arnold has held numerous academic and ministerial positions before coming to Boyce College. For three years, he served as senior pastor of a Bible Church in Michigan, and prior to that he and his wife led several student-focused ministries on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Most recently, Arnold served as vice president of Student Services and professor of theological studies at Northland International University in Dunbar, Wisconsin.

He has written The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (CBHH, 2013) along with numerous articles, book chapters, and book reviews for various publications. He is a fellow of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies (SBTS) and a visiting fellow of the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage (Oxford).

He and his wife, Lindsay, have four children: Nathaniel, Benjamin, Lukas, and Sadie.

This is part one of a two-part interview. To hear the rest, click here.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.