May A Christian College Administer Communion?

Andy Smith writes to ask about the administration of communion outside of the visible, institutional church. Specifically he writes to ask whether a Christian college or university may administer communion in chapel or in some other setting but the question is whether . . . Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (22a): Serving The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1–5)

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Roman claims about an alleged Petrine papacy, apart from the utter lack of historical evidence for any such thing, is that Peter did use two different nouns to characterize his offices and ministry, apostle (ἀπόστολος) and presbyter (πρεσβύτερος). As a matter of fact, the papacy per se did not really come to exist until well the 4th century and even then its occasional claims to authority were rebuffed. As late as the 7th century Gregory I (c. 540–604), who was arguably the first Roman bishop to begin to exercise anything like the authority attributed to later popes, rejected the idea of a universal episcopal see. Continue reading →

Why Love Is Not A Mark Of The True Church

I was listening to a podcast recently in which someone remarked that Reformed churches can be “cold.” In my first pastorate I had an elder who used to joke that, in the days before refrigeration, “they used to build the Reformed church . . . Continue reading →

Coaches For Pastors: An Index Of The Identity Of American Culture And Evangelicalism

With the stench of decades of sweat fixed permanently in the air, its tile floor, and its fan-shaped basketball hoops mounted to the brick wall—the only protection against which being a thin, worn wrestling mat—the Community Center was the epitome of an . . . Continue reading →

Three Things Dispensational Apologists Should Stop Saying (2)

Our English word canard is actually a French word for duck (the noun, not the verb). Used figuratively in both French and English it signals “an unfounded rumor or story” (Oxford American Dictionary). In this brief three-part series I am addressing three . . . Continue reading →

The Holy Catholic Church Or A Holy Catholic Church?

Recently I received a query about which English translation of the 9th article of the Apostles’ Creed is correct: “a holy catholic church” or the holy catholic church”? As far as I can tell the evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of . . . Continue reading →

Perkins On Churches And Sects

As for the assemblies of Anabaptists, Libertines, Antinomies, Tritheists, Arians, Samosatenians, they are no Churches of God, but conspiracies of monstrous heretics judicially condemned in the primitive Church, and again by the malice of Satan renewed and revived in this age. The . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 104: Authority And Submission (3)

Nevertheless, despite all our natural resistance to authority and despite our suspicion of the church the fact is that our Lord Jesus, whom we profess to love and whose Word we profess to believe, instituted the very visible church against which we so easily rebel. Continue reading →

Heidelberg 83: Christ Gave The Keys To The Church

This imagery is a challenge to our late-modern assumptions. We might assume that, of course, God must be happy to have us, that the kingdom of God must be inclusive. Such an assumption, however pervasive it has become in the modern age, is foreign to Scripture. In Scriptural teaching we are by nature rebels, at odds with God and excluded from his kingdom. Apart from Christ our righteous substitute and our king, we have no status before God except as condemned before the king. Therefore we very much need the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven to be opened for us. Continue reading →