Substance And Procedure: A Synopsis Of The OPC General Assembly 2024

Every year, the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church meets to consider the business of the church requiring the attention of the whole denomination, this summer meeting at Seattle Pacific University. This report summarizes some of the main conclusions from OPC . . . Continue reading →

Thoughts On Overture 12 From PCA General Assembly (2023) And Ascension Presbytery’s Sending The Overture To The Civil Magistrate: Part Three

The first two parts of this series discussed the confessional considerations for why I protested the sending of Overture 12 to the magistrates. In this final part, I provide two further considerations: practical and historical. II. Practical Considerations At this point, I . . . Continue reading →

Thoughts On Overture 12 From PCA General Assembly (2023) And Ascension Presbytery’s Sending The Overture To The Civil Magistrate: Part Two

4. Synods and councils are restricted in ways that individual church members, and even church officers, are not restricted. Chapter 31 of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) does not restrict church members from handling or concluding matters that are not ecclesiastical. Continue reading →

Thoughts On Overture 12 From PCA General Assembly (2023) And Ascension Presbytery’s Sending The Overture To The Civil Magistrate: Part One

Recently, I sent a (brief, four-page) protest to our Presbytery in response to its recent action of instructing our clerk to forward to the magistrates Overture 12 (adjusted for our geography) regarding transgender procedures for minors. Continue reading →

On Churchless Evangelicals (Part 1)

I was once a churchless evangelical. As a young Christian I attended a medium-sized (three-hundred member) Southern Baptist congregation for a few years without joining. It was not really a problem. Of course they would like to have seen me baptized (as . . . Continue reading →

After Calvin: Recommended Reading

There is a popular view of church history that tells a story in which there was a pure, believing church during the apostolic age and then, for all intents and purposes, there was not a church (except for the Waldensians who alone . . . Continue reading →

The Simplicity of Biblical Polity

A “senior pastor” is one elder among many (as Peter, Paul, and the unnamed elders were at the Jerusalem Council, Acts 15:23) and has no extraordinary authority.* Unfortunately, some—usually large—presbyterian churches become de facto staff-led rather than elder-led. The senior pastor becomes . . . Continue reading →

We Are Not Professionals But Ought To Be True Confessionals

I recently wrote a book review about a volume by an author whose works usually prompt me to significant disagreement, but, in this case, whether because of a change of his mind or coincidence of the material, I found that I generally . . . Continue reading →

Charles Stover Discovers The Reformed Confession

It was my first staff meeting serving as a youth intern in my hometown church. My pastor, who had graciously allowed me to test my gifts in the pulpit before I went off to Bible college, wanted to know where I stood . . . Continue reading →

Godfrey On The Lure Of Influence

Now I am not opposed to the idea of trying to be an influence. The Christian community should not isolate itself from discussion with anyone or from common action with non-Christians where the faith is not compromised. Christians should hope, pray, and . . . Continue reading →

Machen’s Warrior Children, Ed Stetzer, And Beth Moore

John Frame first published his essay “Machen’s Warrior Children” in 2003, in a Festscrhfit (a volume of congratulatory essays usually in honor of a 65th birthday or a retirement) for Alister McGrath. The essay was ostensibly a historical analysis of what happened . . . Continue reading →

Pies, Docs, Kuyps, And Confessionalists

The first time I heard the expression, “Pies, Docs, and Kuyps” was during a seminary lecture by Derke Bergsma. He was relating what had already become a fairly standard sociological taxonomy in the Reformed world. There are three kinds of Reformed folk: . . . Continue reading →

Audio: How Not To Be A Heretic

You and I are not the first ones to read the Bible. Christians as individuals and the church as a corporation has been hearing, meditating upon, and reading God’s Word for its entire history. One of the principal fruits of that corporate . . . Continue reading →

Creeds Are Unavoidable

Christianity is a creedal religion. You cannot separate Christianity from its ancient creeds. In fact, every true Christian adheres to the ancient creeds of the church, whether he knows it or not. We all have creeds. Whether formal or informal—whether written or . . . Continue reading →

Good News From Charleston, SC

Jon Payne, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA), sends word of good news about this church planting work in Charleston. Not all the church news that comes over the transom is good news but this report is encouraging. Jon writes: Christ Church . . . Continue reading →

Happy Birthday To The Shorter Catechism!

Thanks to Wayne Sparkman for his consistently excellent daily posts. From his keyboard comes a reminder that today is an anniversary of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. On this day in 1647, the House of Commons ordered the printing of the Westminster Shorter . . . Continue reading →