A guest post from a PCA Ruling Elder
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.
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.
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.”
When I was a boy, my parents gave my siblings and me a big, round trampoline. That gift brought us and countless hours of fun, laughter, and exercise. So, when our children were old enough, Jordan and I decided to surprise them with a big, round trampoline for Christmas. As I bolted the frame together and strained to hook the canvas to the springs, I thought of how much joy it would bring them. But after the big reveal their enthusiasm quickly faded. Now, the trampoline sits forgotten beneath a carpet of old fall leaves.
"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).
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.
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.
Together for the Gospel (T4G) directors have announced that they will be meeting for the final time in 2022, triggering a wide-ranging discussion on parachurch organizations. Todd waxes nostalgic as he recalls the many years he attended T4G and how those conferences influenced his life and ministry. Today, Pastor Pruitt shares his thoughts about the ministry’s dissolution as our two friends reflect on the current challenges that Gospel unity is facing everywhere. You don’t want to miss Carl’s analogy about the OPC and pest control. Listen in!
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).