It is no secret that the Presbyterian Church in America is in turmoil. No one denies the existence of conflict and consternation. Though some consider the strife to be unjustified, even they do not believe the strife will soon cease or be easily resolved.

Let’s cut to the chase and say the quiet part out loud: There may come a time when the Presbyterian Church in America needs to split. But until that time comes it should not splinter.

iii. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: (2 Pet. 3:11, 14, 2 Cor. 5:10-11, 2 Thess. 1:5-7, Luke 21:27-28, Rom. 8:23-25) so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen. (Matt. 24:36, 42-44, Mark 13:35-37, Luke 12:35-36, Rev. 22:20).
ii. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.

Now at a companion packet to The Shepherd Leader!

In this packet, you will find three sample tools to consider as you implement your shepherding plan. Click here to download your free resources.

When you set up your shepherding plan you could not have imagined that your entire congregation would be hunkered-down attempting to stay clear of Covid-19.

These are times in which the flock needs to hear from their shepherds for comfort and assurance. I have urged our elders to put a priority on reaching out to their sheep, especially to those who are especially vulnerable.

I recently received this encouraging email from my friend Ken Jones, Shepherding Pastor at Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama:

Everyday Prayer with the Puritans. Donald K. McKim. P&R Publishing, 2021. 136 pp. Hardcover. $15.99.

The Deep Places: A Memoir Of Illness And Discovery. Ross Douthat. Convergent Books, 2021. 224 pp. Hardcover. $26.00

How I wish seminaries described themselves in press releases (let the reader understand):

Our approach to pastoral preparation is time-tested, rich, and rigorous.

Note: This article is part of a series on terminology related to homosexuality.

"Sex reassignment" refers to a surgery (or series of surgeries) to alter a person’s visible sex characteristics to conform to his or her gender identity. More colloquially, it is also called a “sex change.” The newer and more ideologically freighted term is “gender affirmation surgery.”

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" (Jam. 1:27).

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God" (Heb. 13:16)

"... that which is pleasing in his sight" (Heb. 13:21)

Note: The following is adapted from a letter sent in response to a gracious correspondent who was concerned about Dr. Trueman’s representation of the words of Rev. Greg Johnson. It is published here rather than First Things due to the intramural nature of the matter involved.

Dear Friend,

Some years ago, I took a Nazirite vow never to write on race in America.  Yet, persuaded by the editorial team at First Things, I broke that vow.  Now it is time to offer a brief reflection on some of the responses.

Your favorite grumpy, middle-aged pod partners welcome a good friend, and—according to Carl—the mastermind behind the marketing and sales department at Banner of Truth publishing. Pat Daly has been one of the fast-moving wheels at Banner for quite some time, but—this coming summer—he’ll assume the duties of a vice president at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Before he departs, Pat talks about the current state of Christian publishing and his encouraging view of its future, particularly in Reformed circles.

Keeping up with all that’s happening in the evangelical world is a real challenge! Today our intrepid hosts tackle one of the latest examples of dysfunction at the intersection of church and culture. This week’s head-shaker comes courtesy of Life Church, pastored by Craig Groeschel. It’s the newest, super-cool, and innovative approach to “doing church”: the metaverse. Yes, it’s virtual reality (VR) church, where one can “worship” from the comfort of home wearing jammies and goggles while being represented in the “sanctuary” by a personal graphic avatar.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2


In 1616, ninety-nine years after Martin Luther began his reforming work in Wittenberg, John Owen was born in Oxford, England. John Owen, it may be said, contributed as much to the theological landscape of the 17th century and Martin Luther did in the century prior. 

Calvin's sensitivity to the different circumstances in which people live lead him to flip-flop, or at least to be somewhat ambivalent in his attitude to the magistrate. Citing the case of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27), Scripture requires obedience to bad kings, and even to pray for the well being of the country of exile (Jer.29). No doubt Calvin has his own city of exile, Geneva, in mind.  But should not rulers, who also have responsibilities, be kept on track? Yes, but not by ourselves, but by Almighty God.  This leads to discussion of the vexed question of civil disobedience.

No doubt having the Anabaptists in mind,  and having already defended the right to litigate, Calvin proceeds to defend the entire judicial process. He discourages using the law for the taking of revenge, but upholds the use of due process, 'through which God may work for our good'. (It is interesting that in his teaching Calvin primarily seems to have mind not Geneva, which by this time in his career he believed was governed along right lines, but countries where the law may remain hostile to evangelical Christianity).