No Reformed Worship, No Reformed Church

Thesis: No confessional presbyterian church will long remain confessional or presbyterian if it loses Reformed worship. First, some definitions: Confessional: orthodox soteriology and doctrine (doctrine of God, Christology, covenant) according to the Reformed confessions Presbyterian: government by ordained male (per scripture) elders . . . Continue reading →

Chariots Of Hire

WE ARE RELIABLY INFORMED that this is “Super Bowl Week,” a promotional publicity-fest that is something like Advent for the USA’s greatest holy day. That this holy day falls on the first day of next week—the Lord’s Day if you are a confessional presbyterian—may . . . Continue reading →

The Last Man (As It Were) Standing?

It’s 2024 and NAPARC denominations stand almost alone on male-only pastors/preachers and lay leaders (elders). The SBC is far from solid on this issue (https://sbcamendment.org/) and most evangelicals are giving way by degrees. Decisive action from the SBC would help, but many . . . Continue reading →

Waters: What Is Ordination?

Most Presbyterians have attended an ordination service, but many Presbyterians don’t fully understand what they are witnessing. What exactly is (not) happening when men are ordained to office in the church? What are the benefits and blessings of ordination to the church’s . . . Continue reading →

Confessionalism Is Beautiful Too

My purpose is, however, to highlight how men on the more confessional or “traditionalist” end of the PCA spectrum have done a poor job using language to communicate the beauty, loveliness, and grandeur of simple, ordinary, plain, vanilla, Old School, Reformed, Westminster, . . . Continue reading →

The Gospel Is Not National

It seems the Christian Nationalist project overburdens and spins Matthew 28: 19 & 20 much like the for-the-city transformationalist crowd does with Jeremiah 29:7: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the . . . Continue reading →

Evening Worship In The PCA: Did It Die Of Natural Causes, Neglect, or Euthanasia?

A startling new study and article by two young churchmen in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) suggests that around 12% of churches conduct evening worship services. Pastors from the founding generation have estimated that 50–75% of PCA churches had evening worship . . . Continue reading →

In Praise of the Humble Blue Blazer

What equipment does a newly minted Ruling Elder need? I would propose the following: the Bible, the Westminster Standards, the Book of Church Order (BCO), a phone for texting members and fellow elders (there is lots of texting), an email account, and that . . . Continue reading →

Irony and the Presbyterian Church in America (Part 3): Strategic Planning And Corporate Culture Change

When the 35th GA convened at Memphis’ Cook Convention Center June 12–14, 2007, the PCA was changing from the inside out. Its expanded Overtures Committee met for the first time, and the CMC (Cooperative Ministries Committee) was begun. CofCs (Committee of Commissioners) . . . Continue reading →

Ruling Elder Renaissance

The recently-concluded 50th Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly in Memphis, TN was the second-largest ever with (unofficially) 2250 elders in attendance; only the previous year’s assembly was larger with 2385 in attendance. More significantly, this year’s meeting solidified a trend of . . . Continue reading →

Irony and the Presbyterian Church in America (Part 2): The Urban Turn

The 14th GA met in the elegant Academy of Music (a performing arts center) in the city center of Philadelphia, June 23–27, 1986. In addition to sweltering summer temperatures, a sanitation strike threatened conveniences. Nevertheless, the Assembly met in city center Philadelphia, . . . Continue reading →

Irony and the Presbyterian Church in America (Part 1): The First General Assembly

Every re-telling may choose its focus, phrasing, and pace. Think of the following as a tour guide through a relatively short sliver of ecclesiastical history. Many of the same events, persons, emphases would come across differently depending on the tour guide who . . . Continue reading →

PCA Officers And Their Pronouns

Dozens of congregations of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) communicate to the church and to the world that ordination is not essential to the holding of church office or to bearing the titles thereof. The two-office polity of the PCA is . . . Continue reading →

Patience Needed In The PCA

There are grave theological and practical deviations from our Standards disturbing the purity and peace of this faith communion. For quite some time, the PCA has been troubled by those who not merely disagree with our Church constitution (the Book of Church Order and . . . Continue reading →