Grumpy Old Men And The Ministry Of Condemnation

Where are all the young people going? Why do the visitors never seem to stick? Why have there been so many fights in our church history? Unfortunately, these are common questions in the Reformed tradition. In my years as a pastor, I have been shocked over how much antipathy there has been toward Reformed churches. It took me more than a few years to get a handle on why the reaction has been so strong. The sad reality is that many people have witnessed fighting, church splits, abuses, hatreds, contentions, jealousies, all undergirded by a hard kind of legalism within the confines of a closed community that demonstrates nothing of the joy of Christ. What are we to think of these things? Are there any legitimate criticisms of the Reformed faith that we should evaluate?

The Bible contrasts two very different kinds of ministries. In 2 Cor. 3 the apostle Paul says that we are ministers of the new covenant. The contrast the apostle is making is between the new covenant as the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham which he calls the ministry of righteousness, and the particular phenomenon of the giving of the law on Sinai to Moses—that which he designates as the ministry of condemnation. The contrast is important because each kind of ministry produces its own kind of fruit in its recipients. Read more»

Chris Gordon | “Grumpy Old Men and the Reformed Tradition”


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