Posts by Terry L. Johnson

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Where is Jesus today? One might assume that because Jesus is God the Son, He is present anywhere and everywhere. Indeed, He is! According to His divine nature, He is omni present. Our interest, however, is not in His omni presence , but His blessed presence. Granted, that too can be manifested...
Parachurch organizations have played an important role in my spiritual pilgrimage. At one time or another my spiritual growth has been accelerated by the work of the Row Bible Study at the University of Southern California, Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and the...
James MacKenzie Baird, Jr. August 11, 1928 – January 31, 2020 James M. Baird, Jr. was among the most consequential Presbyterian pastors of the mid to late 20 th and early 21 st centuries. He was one of a dozen or so men who rightly could claim to be a founding father of the Presbyterian Church in...
Our society celebrates the openness with which it accepts homosexuality and transgenderism. It contrasts our present enlightened times with past eras when what are now called "sexual minorities," LGBTQers, were once consigned to the closets, forced to keep their "sexual identity" hidden. Now those...
You will have heard of the " Benedict Option " for coping with the culture wars. I would like to propose to Reformed Protestants the "Zwinglian Option" for ending the worship wars: eliminate all music from our public services. Zwingli, the outstanding musician among the Reformers, removed all music...
If Martin Bucer (1477-1548) is not an un sung hero of the Reformation, he is certainly an under sung hero. This particularly is the case when it comes to public worship. Bucer's fingerprints are all over Calvin's Form of Church Prayers (1542) as well as the Book of Common Prayer (1552, 1559, 1662...
Reformed churches not only have the regulative principle worship (RPW) to guide them regarding elements and forms, but they also, throughout their history, have had liturgies and directories. The liturgies were the more restrictive ( e.g. Strasburg , Geneva , Amsterdam), the directories (...
Which is more likely today, liturgical sameness or liturgical strangeness ? Which is more damaging to the integrity of Protestant denominations? Are we suffocating from liturgical uniformity--encountering the same old predictable things in the Reformed churches we attend? Or, are we unsettled by...
I left for England from Los Angeles in September 1977 because of one man and one book: J. I. Packer and Knowing God . Looking back, it was quite naïve of me to undertake such a journey knowing so little about my destination. As we were about to land in London, an English fellow noticed I was...
By and large I have stayed out of the politics of the General Assembly (GA) for the past 34 years. Because I pastor at an independent Presbyterian church, I have not been motivated to educate myself--in a significant way--about the nuances of the BCO (Book of Church Order). If I'm honest, I have to...
Tomorrow the remains of Hughes Oliphant Old (April 13, 1933 - May 24, 2016) will be interred at the Christian Street Cemetery in White River Junction, Vermont. A prince in Israel has died, leaving behind mourners who will miss both his genteel Christian piety and the vast body of knowledge that he...
The dust that can be seen swirling in the distance is the aftereffects of Richard A. Muller's scholarly avalanche. He has marshaled mountains of historical evidence to bury the various twentieth century agenda-driven "Calvin against the Calvinist" schemes devised to drive a wedge between the great...