One Of The Sheep Speaks Up

Yes, brothers, the world is watching, but so are those in your congregations. You have not been ordained to placate the goats. Jesus has called you to feed His sheep. I humbly and joyfully exhort you as your sister in Christ to . . . Continue reading →

Flashback To 2006: “Presbyterians And Presbyterians Together” As The Background To The Open Letter (Updated)

Editor’s Preface This document was published in April, 2006  and provoked considerable discussion in conservative Presbyterian and Reformed world in connection to the Federal Vision controversy. Since that time the original publication site has been removed. Here are some responses from the . . . Continue reading →

Machen’s Response To The Open Letter

In Stephen J. Nichol’s fine biography on J. Gresham Machen, he refers to historian Bradley Longfield’s description of the real problem within the church during the modernist controversy: namely, the moderates, whom Machen called the “indifferentists.” Machen wrote in a letter to . . . Continue reading →

Machen’s Other Opponents: The Moderates

Machen considered the church in the book’s final chapter, where he argued that since modernism was a different religion altogether, the honorable thing for modernists to do was to withdraw from the church. Knowing this to be unlikely, Machen appealed to moderates . . . Continue reading →

The Question Of The Hour In The PCA

The question of the hour is whether missional contextualization requires celibate gay/same-sex-attracted (SSA) “Side B” pastors. The supporters of (or tolerators of) Side B ministers and the novel doctrine that goes along with them would not say that mission-driven cultural accommodation (per . . . Continue reading →

P&R Polity Is Not Perfect But It Is Preferable To The Others

In the last few weeks there has been published, on social media, some fairly stinging comments about the problems inherent with way confessional Presbyterian and Reformed (hereafter P&R) churches govern themselves. These comments seem mainly to born of frustration with the way . . . Continue reading →

Can The PCA’s “Big Tent” Hold?

Which Way Will The Moderates Swing?

Is the PCA’s big tent capacious enough for “gay Christian” officers and Revoice doctrine? Adherents of a certain type of “missionalism” might consider Revoice-style contextualization and accommodation to be absolutely essential; thus they would make room in the tent. Moderate evangelicals in . . . Continue reading →

Indy Reformed Holding Services January 17 and 24, 2021 (Updated)

Indy Reformed is a group of Reformed Christians who are committed to seeing a URCNA church planted in the Indianapolis area. The group has been adopted by Zeltenreich Reformed Church in New Holland, PA. The church planting efforts are currently in the development phase with the goal to launch in the Spring of 2022. Continue reading →

Some Reasons Why Visitors Do Not Stay And What To Do About It

Presbyterian and Reformed congregations occupy an odd space in American Christianity. We do not really belong to American Christianity in significant ways. Our roots are not in the nineteenth-century revivals nor even in the eighteenth-century revivals. We are no part of the . . . Continue reading →

Americans Are Going Home. Maybe It Is Time To Think About About Planting Churches There Too?

Some dear friends left their life in the city and moved back home a few years ago. They live in his Mom and Dad’s place in the Sandhills of Nebraska. North Platte (pop. 23,000), a hour to the south, is the nearest . . . Continue reading →

Bringing In 2021 With the Presbycast

New Years Eve was noisy in Escondido but the fireworks really started when I joined Chortles Weakly (Brad Isbell) to help bring in 2021 with the Presbycast. We had fun with sound effects and general goofiness as our dogs both cowered (and . . . Continue reading →

In Memoriam: Rev Dr Derke P. Bergsma (1927–2020)

He was, in my experience, relentlessly cheerful. He had a ready smile and an encouraging word. A midwesterner, who earned his spurs on the Plains, he was an endless fount of stories. This was a source of irritation to some of my fellow students but on the Plains, stories are a part of life. I am sure that I learned as much about pastoral ministry from Derke’s stories about ministry as I did from his lectures. Continue reading →

Two Big Events In The Life Of A New Confessional Reformed Congregation

In Matthew 28:18–20 our Lord gave a mission to the visible, institutional church: preach the gospel, administer the sacraments, and make disciples. He did not give that mission to a million evangelical para-church organizations. He gave it to the visible church. The . . . Continue reading →