Heard & Seen

Working Together - Alliance via ExtraordinaryGive

On November 21st, you can support the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals with the Extraordinary Give program. Any donation made online at ExtraGive will be stretched by up to $250,000 from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and their presenting sponsors. Plus, there are $50,000 in prizes we can win instantly as a result of your donation! 

Smartphone savvy? Download the Extraordinary Give app (IPHONE App  and ANDROID App) for a fun, interactive experience, and a chance to win amazing prizes! It's the easiest way to keep tabs on how we are doing and to spread the word on social media (use #Allianceextragive) 

Mark your calendars, tell your friends, give extraordinary! 


Text links -
Posted November 19, 2014 @ 2:21 PM by Robert Brady
TOPICS:

Theology on the Go on iTunes

We're very grateful for the feedback we've already received about Theology on the Go podcast at Place for Truth.  And as an update, I'm pleased to report that you can listen and subscribe to the podcast via itunes or just go to iTunes and search for "Theology on the Go."

For those of you who haven't listened yet, Theology on the Go is a brief conversation - one guest, one topic.  Its tagline is, "A brief conversation about an eternal truth."  It's the perfect length for a short commute, or a break in the day. And the podcast is followed by several articles from several talented young pastors and theologians on topic over the next two weeks.

Please send along this link and post it via social media, so that others can benefit from the insights and teaching of our guests. And thank you for regularly visiting Place for Truth and Theology on the Go podcast!

Text links -
Place for Truth - http://www.placefortruth.org/placefortruth
Posted November 17, 2014 @ 4:00 PM by Robert Brady

Christward Collective's Scott Redd with Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn

The Alliance has a growing list of scholars and contributors leading our efforts to proclaim historic confessional doctrine for a modern reformation. One of those contributors is Dr. Scott Redd on ChristwardCollective.org.

In order to keep you in the loop about what our contributors are doing, we alert you to an exciting conference next week in DC. Reformed Theological Seminary, where Redd is President, invites you to join the third annual ReForum: Confessing Christianity: Yesterday's Reformation for Today's Public Life.

The event will include a message from Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn, followed by a panel discussion with Scott Redd and other faculty members. Dr. Van Dixhoorn's recently published Confessing the Faith: A Reader's Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith will be the springboard for discussion.

The event is Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7pm-9pm at Foley & Lardner LLP, located at 3000 K Street, N.W., Suite 600 Washington, D.C. 20007. If you would like to attend, RSVP to nherndon@rts.edu. This is not an Alliance event, so be sure to interact with RTS.

And if you attend, be sure to stop Scott and let him know you heard about this from the Alliance!
Posted November 7, 2014 @ 10:37 AM by Robert Brady

All New Mortification of Spin Website

The Mortification of Spin podcast has been airing for a year and a half, attracting tens of thousands of listeners each week. And while there are some issues and certain episodes that we are asked to avoid, remove, or apologize for - we've not succumbed to any of that. BTW - the one thing we hear most often is for more. For more of Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt and Aimee Byrd - but we suspect they really mean more of Aimee.


So while the actual podcast schedule can't change - it will continue to air each and every Wednesday - we can bring you more content from the hosts. The blog content of Carl from reformation21.org, of Aimee from HousewifeTheologian.com and of Todd from his blog known as 1517 will all be combined at Mortification of Spin.


There it will sit alongside the podcast, it's archives, the huge archives of these three prolific writers, and soon, new and fun content extras! So the web address will not change - MortificationofSpin.org and HousewifeTheologian.com - but the causal conversation about things that count will grow!


The Mortification of Spin is a ministry of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The Alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church. Learn more about the Alliance at AllianceNet.org.


The Alliance, and all of its ministries, including Motification of Spin is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Mortification of Spin and the mission of the Alliance. Please donate here.

Posted October 7, 2014 @ 9:46 AM by Robert Brady

Alliance Reformation Societies: One Member Church

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals support Reformation Societies. These regional fraternal gatherings of pastors and church leaders join together for the purpose of encouraging reformation. Reformation means standing against the spirit of the age, so pastors and church leaders join together to encourage, equip, and embolden one another in the work. Most importantly, a society brings the Word of God and prayer to bear on the leaders themselves, strengthening them for the work of a faithful shepherd.

Here is the story of one such pastor and the changes the local church has endured. This report should encourage those of us in still faithful, confessional bodies; should embolden us to pray for those that are not; and might lead a few to equip themselves to start a Reformation Society in their region!


Why We Left the Episcopal Church

Holy Trinity was officially established on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007 when the rector and the entire congregation formally aligned with the Convocation of Anglican in North America (CANA). Remaining associated with the Episcopal Church USA became increasingly untenable and decision to disassociate from the Episcopal Church was made. However it was the strong desire of this 253-year-old parish family to continue in the Anglican tradition, but under the leadership of orthodox (meaning not revisionist), godly, leadership.

A word from Don Helmandollar, the rector of Holy Trinity Anglican Church:

Please allow me to introduce you to the Christian character of the congregation of Holy Trinity Anglican Church and help you understand the exemplary caliber of the congregation, witnessed by their love for God, for each other, and for their church. I sincerely believe that this is a body of believers that you--in particular those of the Anglican communion, will be pleased and blessed to be associated with.

Holy Trinity was officially established on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007 when the rector and the entire congregation formally aligned with the Convocation of Anglican in North America (CANA).  The congregation, historically known as Trinity Church Society of Bristol, Connecticut, was a pre-revolutionary war parish, established in 1747 and had a long and proud history of Anglican worship, ministry and mission in the Bristol area.  Remaining associated with the Episcopal Church USA became increasingly untenable and decision to disassociate from the Episcopal Church was made.  However it was the strong desire of this 253-year-old parish family to continue in the Anglican tradition, but under the leadership of orthodox (meaning not revisionist), godly, leadership.  Hence alignment with CANA.

A question often asked is why was the realignment deemed so important to this congregation?  The Senior Warden, in response to a similar question, offered the short and most succinct answer.  He wrote: "We undertake this move in response to the Diocese of Connecticut and The Episcopal Church abandoning core teachings of the Bible and of the historic Anglican Faith regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of Holy Scripture in the ordering of our lives together in the Worldwide Anglican Communion."

A more detailed response is that we, as many throughout the country and, indeed, the world, have observed the continual slide of the Episcopal Church into ungodly belief and practice.  Pleas for repentance and return to the historic faith handed down in the Anglican Communion for centuries were, and continue to be, ignored and even scoffed at.

One example of the depth and destructive nature of revisionist belief and teaching is this:  Many in the Episcopal Church, including the Presiding Bishop, openly and publicly deny the assertion of Jesus, recorded in John 14:6, where he says "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  In the Episcopal Church, at the very top of it's clergy leadership and in direct contradiction to Scripture, Jesus is now being presented as one of several ways to reach God. This assertion flies in the face of long-held Christian beliefs and could not be overlooked by this body of Anglican believers.

Yet that is but one of several examples of a church that has abandoned the historic, orthodox faith and was increasingly pressuring everyone to adhere to these ungodly teachings.  Another example--and a particularly insidious one--is the Bible being presented and augured as a man-written book, which can be modified as the church see fit.    Again, from some in that church leadership, we read comments such as "Man wrote the Bible, man can change it."  This is a gross misunderstanding of Holy Scripture and is unacceptable teaching in the Christian belief system.  This congregation, now Holy Trinity Anglican Church, continues to receive the Holy Scriptures as "God-breathed and inspired by God Himself.  Not only do we, this congregation,  make that assertion but our own Articles of Religion state that "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

Again, from leadership of our congregation, "These two key shifts show that the Diocese of Connecticut and The Episcopal Church have chosen to walk apart from foundational teachings of orthodox Christianity and Anglican tradition.  We at (now Holy Trinity) Trinity Church believe that denying these long-held teachings strikes at the very heart of what we believe as disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  To embrace such false teaching would undermine both our witness to the world as Christians and our integrity as believers of the truth of His gospel message to that world."

Yet this chosen realignment, in order to place ourselves under godly leadership, came about only after several years of struggle and numerous attempts to identify ways we could in good Christian conscience, remain associated with The Episcopal Church USA and more specifically, in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.  It is now a matter of history that  the realignment resulted in much sacrifice by the congregation, perhaps most notably being forced to leave behind a beautiful sanctuary and historic worship space where so many of them, or their parents or grandparents,  had been baptized, worshiped, married, even buried.  The building, as of this writing, stands empty and will soon be put up for sale to used for what purpose only God knows. Remains of family members and loved ones interned in the Rose Garden will be removed.  The place is no longer a sanctuary because there is no congregation to worship there or to call it home.

So yes, there has been struggle and sacrifice by this congregation.  But, nearly to a person they have willingly paid the price to be free from such--what we see as apostasy and religious tyranny. But don't expect despair and gloom when you come into the presence of the people of Holy Trinity Anglican Church.  In our conversations we used to hear comments like "A church is not the stones," or "the church is the people, not the steeple,"  or to quote one Nigerian bishop, "let the bishop have the stones."

Now you will encounter people who have as their personal vision to become Galatians 2:20 Christians who can boldly proclaim " I have been crucified with Christ and I no loner live, but Christ lives in me."  You will encounter people whose mission in life is "To Know God and Make Him Known" to a community and society--even churches--who often don't know God or who He is.  Now you hear proclamations such as  "We were delivered, not evicted," and, "The best (for this body) is yet to come."  With this attitude and devotion to having Christ be the head of our church, this is a body of believers that cannot be defeated. They are building a church, with Jesus Christ at the center--the very core,  that the "gates of hell will not prevail against."

Perhaps this will give you somewhat of a flavor for what to expect in and of Holy Trinity Church. Perhaps these are people that you would like to learn more about and a church you would like to be associated with. We will answer any question to the best of our ability and we will assist you in any way we can. God Bless!
Posted September 25, 2014 @ 5:58 PM by Robert Brady

More Resources on Depression

As a follow up to Todd's post on resources on depression, I wanted to share a few items that the Alliance keeps around on the topic. These and more can be found at ReformedResources.org. And as a reminder, if you are a Friend of the Alliance, your shipping is free; if you are part of our President's Circle, we would be happy to give you these resources for free!

Audio: (available as both CD and MP3)
Alliance collection - "My Portion Forever, Finding God's Joy in our Pain" - http://www.reformedresources.org/audio/my-portion-forever-finding-gods-joy-in-our-pain/

Booklets:

Books: 
David Murray - "Christians Get Depressed Too" - http://www.reformedresources.org/books/christians-get-depressed-too/
Posted August 20, 2014 @ 9:42 AM by Robert Brady

How can one improve Reformation21.org?

I mean, once Trueman refused to give up the black shoes and socks when at the beach of Harvey Cedars NJ, it was clear some things were settled! But there is still hope...

Reformation21.org is the flagship of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals online flotilla. It is joined by PlaceforTruth.org which offers biblical theology with a large dose of exegete and ChristwardCollective.org parsing out solid biblical doctrine from younger contributors not afraid to stand on the theological shoulders of the Reformers. These great resources are central to the Alliance's mission of proclaiming biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.

So it would be very hard to improve those things. But we did improve some of the technical aspects of the site (with a view to rebuild it entirely in early 2015). So look around, try them out, and let us know what you think of:

- Printable pages on the articles, blog posts, and reviews. No longer will those pesky (but I advocate interesting) side bars be printed with the content you are wanting to share.
- Social sharing buttons have long been needed. Now you can share a post with friends through social media or email it to your 'socially challenged' Uncle Bob!
- Better contributor access can be found on the contributor page. This will allow you to fit any and all contributors to r21, and find all of their submissions as well.
- A lot of clean up of those aforementioned side bars. There we removed some dated sections and incorporated it right into the blog. We also right sorted the previous devotions so you can start reading and using them from the top down.
- And we improved the navigation. You can move back and forth between pages in any section easier (who thought a list of prior years and months was a helpful system?). And you can also find across the top common navigation across the entire Alliance, moving from one site to another, and back again.

So, while it's the reformation21 you have trusted and used for years, I hope these small changes will increase its function and encourage its use. And should you have other ideas or needs, we would love to hear from you. Please email me at rbrady@AllianceNet.org and share your ideas and I would also love to hear how r21 has been helpful for you and your Church too!
Posted August 8, 2014 @ 2:05 PM by Robert Brady

Alliance partners in the annual Reformation Worship Conference

The Alliance is partnering with the annual Reformation Worship Conference outside of Atlanta, Oct. 23-26. We are so very happy to join with our friends at Midway Presbyterian Church, outside of Atlanta, who host the annual Reformation Worship Conference (www.reformationworship.org). This annual gathering is designed for all Christians and ministry leaders. A guest faculty, consisting of W. Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Richard Phillips, Terry Johnson, Douglas Kelly, Jon Payne, T. David Gordon, and many others will assemble for a rich weekend of biblical instruction, encouragement, and modeling of robust, reformed worship. 

Please see the entire program at www.reformationworship.org, and a discounted registration price is available through the end of August.  And since the Alliance is a partner in this event, we invite all our friends to join us and stop by our booth at the conference. Please contact Judy Dodd (judy.dodd@midwaypca.org) for more information about group rates or to register. 

Posted August 7, 2014 @ 7:40 PM by Robert Brady

The PC(USA) Inches Closer to Ordination of Homosexuals

From the Charlotte Observer:

In a close vote that reflected deep division, Presbyterian church leaders representing the Charlotte area signaled their support Saturday for ending their denomination's longstanding ban on gays and lesbians becoming pastors and elders.

In past years, the Charlotte Presbytery - the fourth largest in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - had backed the prohibition. But after a spirited, civil debate in the chapel at Johnson C. Smith University, the presbytery voted 133-124, with one abstention, to reverse itself.

That means that the seven-county Charlotte Presbytery is now on record as backing a proposed amendment to the denomination's constitution that would open the door to - though not automatically guarantee - ordination of homosexuals.

In a bit of irony, the paper quotes a female Assistant Pastor in opposition to the move:

"It was the right thing for the presbytery to do," said the Rev. Tom Tate of Charlotte's Plaza Presbyterian, one of four pastors - two on each side - who addressed the gathering. "While I am glad for those affected, I am sad that the close vote says the church may be so divided."

The proposed amendment weakens "The Fidelity and Chastity" section (G-6.0106b) governing the moral conduct of church officers.  The task force's recommendation, report and rationale are available here.

The revised section deletes the following language:

Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

While retaining the language below:

Those who are called to ordained service in the church, by their assent to the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003), pledge themselves to live lives obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, striving to follow where he leads through the witness of the Scriptures, and to understand the  Scriptures through the instruction of the Confessions. In so doing, they declare their fidelity to the standards of the Church. Each governing body charged with examination for ordination and/or installation (G-14.0240 and G-14.0450) establishes the candidate's sincere efforts to adhere to these standards.

It's not at all clear to me how an ordained minister can pledge to live a life obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge or repent of extramarital, pre-marital, or homosexual sin. 

But then again, the task force arrived at this recommendation by allowing each individual uninterrupted and unlimited time to state their opinion and desired outcomes.  What emerged, in their opinion, was "a Spirit filled revelation of persons, including a broadly diverse viewpoints and positions, that was received by the group with respect and awe. The very simply process of self declaration without interruption was profound, validated persons and led to an ethos of mutual respect even though those declarations were very different."

A "revelation of persons" that "validated persons" is bound to lead to plain contradictions of the word of God and rebellion against the Head of the Church.

Posted March 2, 2009 @ 5:29 AM by Thabiti Anyabwile
TOPICS: Bible, Gender, PC USA

Resources on Exposition

Colin Adam has assembled a massive list of online resources (written and video) on exposition.  Great stuff to work through here.
Posted December 8, 2008 @ 9:14 AM by Thabiti Anyabwile
TOPICS: Preaching

Powlison on Suffering with the Psalmist

Last week, the Lord granted me the privilege to attend the Worship God '08 conference hosted by Sovereign Grace Ministries and Bob Kauflin.  The conference was wonderfully cross-centered, full of joy, and instructive.  I appreciate those brothers making the time beneficial to music neophytes like myself.  The conference audio is posted here.

And I'd especially like to draw your attention to David Powlison's sermon, "Enduring Hardship with the Psalmist."  I'm familiar with Powlison's very helpful written works, but this was the first time I've heard him speak.  In the very laid back (he effortlessly preached in a Hawaiin shirt and sandals; not even the guy from Cayman could pull that off!), calm, and instructive tone I imagine from his books, he led us through an overview of many psalms and their relation to one another, opened up Psalm 28 in detail, and showed us Christ throughout.  If folks are thinking about suffering, trying to comfort someone who is suffering, or simply want to understand many of the Psalms better, this is a great talk.  Highly recommend it.

Posted August 7, 2008 @ 10:47 AM by Thabiti Anyabwile

Interview with Lane Tipton

Lane Tipton and Jeffrey Waddington discuss Richard B. Gaffin's book, Resurrection and Eschatology, here.
Posted June 20, 2008 @ 4:59 PM by Derek Thomas
TOPICS: Gaffin

Top 5 Commentaries on books of the Bible

Our friends at Ligonier have drawn my attention to Keith Mathison's blog entry on the Ligonier website in which he he posts the first of what looks like five blogs on the best commentaries on Matthew's Gospel. Check it out here. Choosing favorite commentaries is a sure way to start an argument! One preacher's meat is another's poison. Good start Keith. Now if someone can help me with Ezra before I finish preaching on it in a few weeks time! Any thoughts anyone?
Posted June 17, 2008 @ 9:08 PM by Derek Thomas

Shocking News...

...from the Gospel Coalition today. While introducing various council members, Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, revealed that Ligon Duncan was a guest from his own church. He even suggested that this was a long-time coming transition for the former moderator of the PCA. What does this mean??
Posted May 27, 2008 @ 8:12 PM by Sean Lucas
TOPICS:

A Baptist Praises the Lord for the PCA

Recently, I read a lamentable statement from the leader of African-American pastors inside the PCUSA.  It was lamentable because it made the gospel and the spiritual mission of the church secondary to social and political concerns.

This morning I came across this video of African American pastors inside the PCA.  The video highlights the work of these pastors at church planting and spreading the Good News of Christ.  As a Baptist, I rejoice at the faithful labors of these men because we have everything in common and share a spiritual mission and history far more important than social causes and concerns.

One man I respect in the faith was Presbyterian pastor Dr. Frances J. Grimke.  He pastored 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. for 55 years!  An African American, he was committed to the gospel and the word of God as the inerring truth of God.  One is left to ask: which pastoral fraternity would Grimke join?

Posted May 7, 2008 @ 10:00 AM by Thabiti Anyabwile

Video: Christ the Only Way

Posted February 22, 2008 @ 2:32 PM by Derek Thomas
TOPICS: Christ
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