Articles by Chad Van Dixhoorn

Seven Marks of a Puritan Pulpit Ministry

Article by   February 2017
In its reform of the pulpit ministry of England, assembly members agreed on the rough outlines of a sketch of preachers and preaching. This final study summarizes seven points of a mainstream puritan vision for the pulpit as articulated by the Westminster assembly and its members. continue

God's Ambassadors: Advice for Preachers

Article by   November 2016
If a hundred preachers could agree on advice to be given to other ministers, it would probably be worth weighing their wisdom on the subject. This is just what the Westminster Assembly offered in a "sub-directory" on preaching within the body's larger Directory for Worship. continue

The Westminster Assembly and the Debate about the Word

Article by   July 2016
In concluding that the public reading of the Scriptures is a ministerial task, the assembly did not appeal to direct examples, but argued instead that it reached its conclusion "by just consequence." continue

God's Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly as Candidates and Credentials Committee

Article by   June 2016
The Westminster Assembly had taken upon itself the wonderful but formidable task of examining preachers for ministry in the church. By mid-autumn of 1643 the assembly recognized that it needed to further clarify and solidify its procedures for the examination of ministers. Since the members of the assembly were Reformed men, they did what Reformed people do: they appointed a committee, and after careful deliberation, it returned to the assembly with a list of twenty-one rules. continue

God's Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Reform of the English Pulpit, 1643-1653

Article by   April 2016
The assembly of divines that authored a famous confession of faith, catechisms, and much more, met in Westminster, now a suburb of London, in the middle of a bloody civil war that tore apart, England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The English parliament, for a variety of reasons, raised an army to try to rein in the power of the king and to gain reforms in taxation, religion, and political process. The English parliament was called the Long Parliament because it met for a long time (1642-1653). continue

Confessing Christianity: Yesterday's reformation for today's reformation

Article by   March 2016
The word 'confessing', I confess, is a little bit vague. We use the word when we are admitting that we could have done better, or owning that we've actually done wrong. And in places where a life dedicated to Christ is unappreciated, or even illegal, confessing to Christianity means confessing to a crime - at least the eyes of our opponents. By Confessing Christianity, I mean something at once more positive and more precise. I am thinking of confessing as professing; I want to make the case for a Christian faith that affirms an allegiance to Christ, but also to a body of truth that we love and teach because of Christ. I mean something like "creedal Christianity," and if I was having better day, I might have picked those words as the title to this reflection. But maybe not. Because a creed is a short statement about the Christian faith, and a confession is a longer one - and my main point is that churches today need more truth, not less to confess. continue

The Westminster Confession of Faith Today

Article by   January 2008
Confessions are doctrinal summaries of the Bible's teaching. They are written by the Church for the Church and the world. They are written for the world because churches with creeds and confessions are trying to be honest about themselves. These doctrinal statements announce that this is a church that has beliefs and is willing to list the most important ones for all to see. This is the very thing that cults and sects refuse to do. When they arrive at your door on Saturday mornings they discuss all things peripheral; their pamphlets hide what they believe and so do their websites. continue
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