Ref21 Blog

Is the PCA Becoming More Unified?

Some years ago, our friend Terry Johnson (senior pastor of Savannah's Independent Presbyterian Church) wrote an article suggesting an opportunity for constructive dialogue in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Terry classified the two main PCA camps in positive...
Posted June 25, 2018 @ 8:19 AM by Richard D. Phillips

The Zwinglian Option

You will have heard of the "Benedict Option" for coping with the culture wars. I would like to propose to Reformed Protestants the "Zwinglian Option" for ending the worship wars: eliminate all music from our public services. Zwingli, the...
Posted June 21, 2018 @ 7:15 AM by Terry L. Johnson

Praying Through the Scriptures: Judges 2; Acts 6

Over the years it has been my practice, learned from others, to offer up praises and petitions framed by a passage of Scripture. Some of these passages were read in preparation for preaching, others offered material for meditation in daily...
Posted June 19, 2018 @ 8:03 AM by Chad Van Dixhoorn

A Psalm-Singing Resurgence

We are experiencing something of a Psalm-singing resurgence in our day. Resources abound online for people who would like to learn more about psalm singing. Churches are making strategic plans to train their members in singing the psalms. Blogs buzz...
Posted June 18, 2018 @ 9:45 AM by Joe Holland

Understanding Theology Proper

With the first verse in the Bible, we are confronted with the necessity of the interpretive priority of theology proper (i.e., answering that and what God is) to account for the economy (i.e., answering that and what God does): "In the beginning...
Posted June 16, 2018 @ 8:21 AM by Richard C. Barcellos

A Historic Day in the PCA

Today was a historic day for the Presbyterian Church in America, as we elected the Rev. Irwyn Ince to be the moderator of the 46th General Assembly. Irwyn is the first African American to be elected to be the moderator...
Posted June 13, 2018 @ 4:55 PM by Nick Batzig
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A Fixed Hope

This summer, I have been greatly encouraged through reading the works of John Bunyan. In his work Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, John Bunyan concludes his Preface with the following thought: "My dear children - The milk...
Posted June 11, 2018 @ 6:19 AM by Gabriel Williams

Can the "Welcoming Church" Speak the Truth?

One feature of life in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is the unveiling of the annual buzz-word for our General Assembly. This year, the word is "welcoming." So far as it goes, this is a fine aspiration for...
Posted June 8, 2018 @ 5:57 PM by Richard D. Phillips

On Professors and the Cult of Personality

I arrived on Faculty at Westminster in the summer of 2001. I had only been on campus for a couple of months before a group of students approached me one lunchtime and tried to recruit me to a most sinister...
Posted June 8, 2018 @ 12:00 PM by Carl Trueman

Everyone Plays a Part in Preaching

Every Christian needs to understand the theology of preaching in Scripture because Christ designed every Christian to sit under sermons. Yet are there ways for all believers to participate in sermons? All Christians, and not the preacher only, should...
Posted June 6, 2018 @ 2:19 PM by Ryan McGraw

Always Reforming?

The Latin phrase semper reformanda--usually translated "always reforming"--is the widely known slogan of the Reformed tradition. It has become quite popular. Authors conjure it. Theologians cite it. Trendsetters love it. But I have become suspicious. And my suspicions stem...
Posted June 6, 2018 @ 11:10 AM by A. Craig Troxel

Paideia Center for Theological Discipleship

As we have recently run a series of post about the importance of theological education and the local church, I wanted to draw our readers attention to a new initiative associated with Reformed Theological Seminary--the Paideia Center. Adopting a regionally...
Posted June 5, 2018 @ 7:26 AM by Nick Batzig

Fences and Fellowship

I've tried not to be, but I can't help it...I'm a Baptist. I've read all I could about pedobaptism, I've talked to many friends, I've prayed for wisdom and clarity, and in the end, I've been all the more...
Posted June 4, 2018 @ 12:23 PM by Nick Kennicott

Whate're My God Ordains is Right

May 10, 2018 was the most beautiful yet painful day of our lives. Our long-awaited daughter, Dayna Euphemia, safely entered into the world and became part of our family. This is our family's story about the pain, hope, sorrow...
Posted May 31, 2018 @ 10:17 AM by Jennifer Weitz

Identifying Our Identity

At present, two popular--yet antithetical--positions about sexuality and identity exist within the orthodox Christian community. In their recently book Transforming Homosexuality, authors Denny Burk and Heath Lambert identify these as the traditional and neo-traditional positions. Both of these positions...
Posted May 30, 2018 @ 9:26 AM by Jared Nelson

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