Results tagged “David Hall” from Reformation21 Blog

Reformation Worship Conference

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Worship and the House of Prayer

Join us in Powder Springs, GA from October 20th to the 23rd for the 2016 Reformation Worship Conference. The speakers will include Carl Trueman, editor of Mortification of Spin; Jason Helopoulos, contributor for The Christward Collective; W. Robert Godfrey; T. David Gordon; Terry Johnson; Mark Ross; Neil Stewart; and David Strain. The conference will be hosted by Midway Presbyterian Church and Pastor David Hall, contributor for Place for Truth.

The Reformation Worship Conference exists to encourage the church to remember her Reformation heritage, particularly as it concerns biblical, God-centered worship. The annual conference will seek to draw gifted scholars and pastors who are able to lead pastors, elders, seminarians, music directors/musicians, and congregants to a fuller understanding of the theology and practice of reformed worship. This three day conference will include multiple lectures and seminars during the day and worship services in the evenings, providing a faithful expression during the day and model of Reformed worship for all who attend. Our prayer is that this annual conference will serve as a catalyst to bring our churches back to their reformed roots in worship, where reformed theology informs Lord's Day worship, and is not divorced from it. 

For more information and to register, visit our website. And, we are offering the Reformation Worship Conference Anthology for only $20. This anthology includes 62 MP3 messages on DVD media from the 2014 and 2015 Reformation Worship Conferences. To order, visit

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Enos Hitchcock (1744-1803) was a Harvard graduate (1767) and a chaplain for several brigades in the Colonial militia (seeing battle at Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Valley Forge, and West Point). He also served as chaplain of the Continental Army from 1779-1780. He preached in other New England churches after the Revolutionary War, prior to settling as the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1783 until his death. During his pastorate, the church grew and built an impressive church in 1794-75 at the corner of Benefit and Benevolent streets. Later his church which was Arminian under his leadership became Unitarian, shortly after his time.

Among his other fiery sermons was a 1780 sermon accusing Benedict Arnold of 'perfidy.' He was involved in various causes, ranging from education to abolition, even purchasing a slave but manumitting him in his will. His diaries were published in 1899 and can be found here

Hitchcock delivered this anniversary sermon seventeen years after the Declaration of Independence in a Baptist church, preaching this on the same day as Samuel Miller's sermon on the anniversary of America's Independence (see link to previous sermon). However, he begins with a passage from the Declaration rather than from Scripture. He believed the providential wonders seen here were also of benefit to all mankind. This sermon celebrated the birth day of a nation, born "when your country was bleeding at every pore, without a friend among the nations of the earth. God alone was her friend! The justice of her cause was registered in the high chancery of heaven. The stars fought in their courses for her; and the event justified a step which had so astonished the world."

This great land bore tremendous promise for industry, agriculture, and development--surely, he preached, the providential blessing of God. To match these natural resources, Hitchcock also noted: "The features of our policy have a strong resemblance to the magnificent and well-proportioned features of our country. No longer do we subscribe to the absurd doctrine of the divine right of kings, no longer bow our necks to the galling yoke of foreign legislation. Independent of these servilities, we enjoy the divine right of governing ourselves." He was a thorough-going republican who detested absolute power, anarchy, and tyranny. He reflected the wisdom of the day: "Every good government must exist somewhere between absolute despotism and absolute democracy. In either of these extremes, neither liberty nor safety can be enjoyed."

He also thought it self-evident that: "The state where the people choose their magistrates for a fixed period, and often assemble to exercise the sovereignty, is a democracy, and is called a republic; such were Athens and Rome, and such are the United States of America." He saw the republicanism of America as a moderate form, which "was most congenial to the rights of man, and the enjoyment of equal liberty--that liberty, which to independence unites security--which to the most ample elective powers, unites strength and energy in government."

Hitchcock also realized the imperfection of governments and the need for virtue among the electors: "The most perfect model of government that imagination can form will be useless, if the state of mankind renders it impracticable." He rendered a quite glowing assessment of the office-holders in all branches as satisfying the high demands of representative government.  He also spied "American genius springing forward in useful arts, projecting great and astonishing enterprizes, tearing down mountains and filling up vallies, and making efforts unknown in those countries where despotism renders everything precarious, and where a tyrant reaps what slaves have sown."

Not every revolution would automatically advance liberty: "Indeed a dark cloud at present vails the fair countenance of liberty in France. Inexperienced in the science of a free government, and unprepared for the enjoyment of it by a previous course of education, of intellectual improvement, and moral discipline, they have tarnished their glory by excesses; and, in the paroxysms of their zeal, have carried excess to outrage."

He preached that "Knowledge and true religion go hand in hand. When the former is obscured, the latter is mutilated, and enveloped in the shades of superstition and bigotry. And whenever the civil power has undertaken to judge and decide concerning truth and error, to oppose the one, while it protected the other, it has invariably supported bigotry, superstition and nonsense."

In contrast to Miller's sermon from last week, this one seldom refers to biblical texts. His sermon concluded:

May we ever show ourselves worthy of the blessings we enjoy, and never tarnish the bright lustre of this day, by any unbecoming excesses. Americans! think of the many privileges which distinguish your condition. Be grateful for your lot; and let your virtue secure what your valour, under God, hath obtained; and transmit to latest posterity the glorious inheritance. May the political edifice erected on the theatre of this new world, afford a practical lesson of liberty to mankind, and become in an eminent degree the model of that glorious temple of universal liberty which is about to be established over the civilized world. 

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Originally posted by David Hall on

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 ( 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, 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 ( for more information about group rates or to register. 

God's benediction rests on you (you'll have true happiness) if you are pure in heart. This blessing is not bestowed upon the intellectually keen or emotionally pious, but on those pure or clean in heart. Like poor "in spirit" pure is modified in this blessing by "in heart"--thus it does not refer to being ceremonially or morally clean. The heart, according to biblical imagery, is the center of the entire person. Thus we will be happy if the center of our whole person, the power plant or control central, is single-mindedly pursuing God. That's the way to be happy. Purity of heart "may be defined as undivided affections, sincerity, genuineness, Godly simplicity. It is the opposite of subtlety and duplicity . . . purity of motives and intents." Pure means unmixed, un-combined, unadulterated.

Here's a quick test of this singleness in purpose or purity in heart. "What do you think about when your mind slips into neutral?" To what do you pay consistent or inordinate allegiance? What do you want or love more than anything else? If the answers were God and his Kingdom, that is an evidence of being pure in heart. If not, maybe we need him to make our hearts pure.

Place for Truth is where to finish this...

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This just in: the Bible answers the question about how converts in hostile countries are to bear witness to Christ: Publicly. That, at least, is what Jesus said in the first Gospel.

Underneath all the missiological mumbo-jumbo and artful dodges--often asserted by Western theoreticians ensconced by comfortable tenure, grants, and libraries--we ought not forget that our Lord answers this question in red letters. To acknowledge Christ means to be unashamed of him. Jesus thought that would be good for us in every generation and in every culture, even if persecution occurred. Calvin said that, "there is no believer whom the Son of God does not require to be his witness."[1]

But perhaps, modern movements are tempted to elevate some sources or pressures over the clear gospel message. Westerners may even think they know better than some on-the-ground who have taken Jesus' words to heart.

Start with a baby issue, compared to martyrdom. Have you ever, for example, been in a public place and been embarrassed to associate with someone or an institution? What is that like?

Suppose you are attending a reunion of some sort, and most of the classmates are very successful. And all you do is work from the home or have a job that is not too prestigious. You are tempted, aren't you, to be vague ("I'm a free-lancer or self-employed"), or to overstate and blur what you do. Why? Because you don't want to acknowledge that everyone else is better or more successful. Or if everyone else attended an elite school, and you didn't, or if most people drive great cars and you drive a clunker . . . we seldom like to advertise anything except prize-winning success.

A person can be embarrassed to stand with Christ. You may feel sheepish to admit that he is Lord and that you depend on him. 

Have you ever stopped to ask why it is that we are often kowtowed and afraid to be public about our faith? Here are some possible reasons: Continue at

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Richard Webster referred to five widely differing views regarding subscription in the colonial Presbyterian church as: "the Protesters, the excluded, the silent, those who were dissatisfied with both parties, and the absent." The modern church may find itself in a similar position. The subject of these essays has not always been agreed upon. Moreover, I am aware of no other volume or website which concentrates on this important subject with such candor and comprehensiveness.  I am grateful to the editors of Place for Truth for confirming the continuing usefulness of this important data collection. Even though over the years there has been much debate over the manner of adhering to the Confession of Faith, intelligent discussions are not always presented. Although Charles Hodge sought to give much of the history of this issue in his 1851 The Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, he is sometimes accused of a partisan favoring of the Old School. Admittedly, liberals have also given their views of the correct manner of confessional subscription.

Continue reading on Place for Truth.

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