About R. Scott Clark
R. Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association
, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books
and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. Read more»
He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.
How about going to a NAPARC church while being a minority???
Scott, thanks for posting this. Link passed along…
I appreciate this post and Sen. Scott’s thoughtful remarks. I look forward to hearing what he has to say in part 3, when he discusses a way forward.
Part 3 is up now.
I will listen. Thanks for the heads up.
I attend a NAPARC church in KC (I’m Cuban). Honestly the thing that strikes me the most (though it’s rare) is the indifference to the poor. But I only find this among younger males.
Other than that, I’ve felt welcome.
Saying that, I visited a URC church and I felt uncomfortable by how much American neo-conservatism was seen as the norm. Which is sad because I credit Dr. Clark for helping me embrace confessionalism.
Upon reflection I learned that even the URC has a strong neo-Kuyperian streak. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me knowing that they left the CRC, but still.
I hope this was a positive contribution.
SJG – I’m curious about this supposed neoconservatism you heard in a URC church? Did you hear support for Moynihan’s views on race and education, or Podhoretz’s approach to foreign affairs? Or did the minister expound upon Gerson’s belief in the role of mediating institutions in caring for the poor and needy?
No snark intended – I’m honestly curious. Neoconservatism has become a bogeyman with a malleable definition.
The pastor was teaching out of the Heidelberg, question 1 and advocated that if one is a Christian, you are supposed to support small government.
Another person I talked to was reading Rushdoony (and thought well of him) and nobody seemed non plussed at this.
I suppose I mean “classical conservative” or “libertarian”. Mind you, I’m a libertarian, but all my friends are progressives. And I guess I’m rather bothered when I see a minister teaching political theory out of the Heidelberg.
I was also disturbed to hear that the folk who live in Downtown KC are moochers who are on welfare all the time. Another person said Spanish was a funny language.
Again, I’m not a progressive by any means, but as somebody who’s Cuban and has lot of progressive friends, I suppose I’m sensitive to these things. These were nice people, Christian folk, and I will see them in the kingdom. However, I was looking for a church that would offend them with the Gospel, not with idiosyncratic political views.
Really the part that bothered me the most was the pastor teaching small government out of the Heidelberg. I don’t think that’s appropriate for a minister.
Maybe I’m too sensitive? Maybe I’m missing something? I grew up a nominal Catholic and embraced Reformed theology in University in an area where nobody takes the Confessions seriously. But as somebody that also embraced a view of God’s Two Kingdoms (as an ex neo Kuyperian no less) I suppose I was shocked to see that.
Am I being too sensitive?
For what it’s worth, I was a tad (understating) annoyed by the PCA’s recent, uh, repentance. So it’s not me being a liberal. I just get scared of church and state being very close.
Also Dr. Clark I’m sorry if I’m derailing.
No, you are not being sensitive. Sadly, it’s just a sad realty with NAPARC churches.
Saying all of that, I adore Dutch theology and am very supportive of the URCNA. If I could plan (by God’s grace) a URC church in South Florida, that’d be wonderful. But seeing that they only have one church in the entire state, being Presbyterian is just fine.
My prayer is that NAPARC churches are okay with minorities without buying into identiy politics. But that’s just me being libertarian.