Church Polity

Guns in Church When I was a pastor, ten years ago, I learned that a married couple, both FBI agents, joined my church. We already had two police officers in attendance, but I welcomed the news in a day when church shootings, like school shootings, were in the news. "It makes me feel safer," one...
It is a very human trait, one from which even theologians are not immune: the tendency to make ourselves the default reference point for everything. We do it without realising it, because it is built into our subconscious. But it happens nonetheless. One particular locus of theology where this...
T he narrative of the Thirty-nine articles has set the primacy of the Scriptures as the principal means by which God is revealed and has set the details of the application of this same principle. Scripture alone determines the limits of the church’s authority in the formulation of doctrine and set...
A fter setting out the nature of the church in Article 19 , the next three articles underline the sufficiency of Scripture in its application to the church’s polity and practice. Articles 20-22 thus take up several aspects of the church’s authority in light of the doctrine of sola scriptura , that...
A rticle 19 marks the third division of the Thirty-Nine Articles . Built on the two articles that precede them, articles 19-22 define the marks of the true church, its visible and invisible character, the nature of its authority in relation to Scripture, and the hallmark of a false church that...
Hunter Powell, The Crisis of British Protestantism: Church Power in the Puritan Revolution 1638-44 , Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015). 264pp. Hardcover. $105.00.
 
 T his is likely the most significant work written to date on the...
Joel Wood
I could take you to the exact spot where, while rolling down the road in our two-tone brown, 1984 Chevy Cavalier, I shyly said: “Dad, I think I’m being called into the ministry.” If you count both streams of my family, I’m a 5 th generation minister. One might say: “It’s the family business!” or “...
The men whom we mean are seeking not membership in the Church, but a place in the ministry, and they desire not to learn but to teach. … Whether it be desirable or not, the ordination declaration is part of the constitution of the Church. If a man can stand on that platform he may be an officer in...
Contemporary efforts to enrich public worship inevitably emphasize increased “congregational participation”. This may mean employing special music, or returning to set prayers in which congregation has a unison voice, but the desire is to move beyond a feeling of clerical monologue. Others blame...
The Westminster Assembly, which met at the behest the English parliament from 1643-1653, while not properly speaking a church court (i.e., a session/consistery, presbytery/classis, or general assembly/synod), did perform functions which we now rightly associate with the presbytery or classis level...