Connecting with Local Churches

What do your churches do to connect with neighboring congregations?

When people in our congregation meet people from their congregation, they can say with enthusiasm, “Your pastor spoke at our church last month. It was great!” So connections are being formed and strengthened among Christian neighbors, for the good of the kingdom.   It’s easy for reformed churches, and Christians in those churches, to feel... Continue Reading

The Case That Went Nowhere: Willis De Boer in the CRC

What could happen when church courts do not consider biblical or confessional issues well or in a timely manner.

In 1975 an attempt was made to reopen the matter.  Baldwin Street CRC of Jenison, Michigan submitted an overture to CRC Synod 1975 to have another look at the case.  They argued that the full body of the Synod should have the opportunity to hear both sides of the matter.  The case had never really... Continue Reading

Prayer and Culture

The Lord’s Prayer reminds us that it makes a huge difference whom we are praying to.

A prayer calls upon a specific God, one who is named. “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” The teaching of the Bible about prayer is full of names. Jesus tells us to pray in His name and to hallow the name of the Father. The Holy Spirit is said to pray... Continue Reading

Peace and Purity in the PCA: A Primer for Members

Whether one supports, opposes, or is lukewarm on Revoice and other issues of debate in our denomination, all of us as PCA members have work to do as part of our church polity.

This piece isn’t about Johnson. It isn’t about Revoice. Or even, in some ways, about the challenges facing the PCA. It is really about our call, as lay members in the PCA, to faithfully exercise our God-given, Book of Church Order confirmed responsibilities to assist our denomination in its submission to God’s authority as given... Continue Reading

The Legend of the Lone Pastor

A man going it alone in ministry is to be the stuff of legends rather than the Biblical model.

I hear or even know of too many men struggling and even failing in ministry. One commonality among them is they were having to go it alone. I think congregations, church planting ministries, and mission boards need to reassess the common ministry paradigm of the singular pastorate.   Clearly history testifies that certain men have... Continue Reading

True Radicalism

It is true that the changes proposed to historic Christianity in such theologising are drastic, but it is doubtful whether they are fit to be called radical.

Rather than being rooted in the past, or rooted in truth, radical theology is overwhelmed by the present, and by what is currently acceptable. Put another way, the approach of the radical to religious questions is essentially tactical; he trims to what is currently in vogue. Such thinking lacks a fulcrum, a point of leverage, in terms of which... Continue Reading

I Pray God Turns the Church Upside Down

I pray that the church, especially the Reformed wing, would refasten her grip upon the doctrine of justification.

I don’t think I have to spend much time making my case that the way Christians talk about one another—especially online—is growing increasingly uncharitable. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t read of people I love and look up to engage in verbal knife fights. People who are supposed to be united in love... Continue Reading

Songs of the Saints: the Significance of Singing

This will be our experience of glory, to sing a new song before the throne of the glorified Lamb of God, the One who purchased us with his blood.

As the redeemed people of God, our future has been secured through Christ, and yet, our battle against sin is a daily struggle. This affects all parts of our life, and music is no exception. There is no comparison between the new song that we will sing in glory and our current reality. The music... Continue Reading

Ensuring Usefulness in Preaching

Samuel Miller's Lectures on Preaching (Part 2)

Miller reflects both on the manner and the message of preaching that ensures utility. In the first place, Miller suggests that the manner is of secondary importance. God has used very different men with very different methods to do tremendous good throughout the history of the church. Nevertheless, the sermon most designed for utility should... Continue Reading

Are You Schismatic? Examining Your Heart for the Sin of Schism

Do I stir up controversy about non-essential issues in my church?

Owen addresses tricky questions that were prominent in his own context. For example, he uses his definition of schism to settle a dilemma: if a church member wants to leave a congregation, what should the congregation do?   Schism is a scary, serious word. We often think of a schismatic as someone who has caused... Continue Reading