Is the Offering an Element, a Circumstance, or Neither?

The Reformed churches order their worship services according to the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) This principle says that we must do only that which God has commanded in his Word. When planning the elements (see below) of a service, the only . . . Continue reading →

Review: Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church by Michael J. Kruger

Michael Kruger has written a gem of a book, addressing one of the most prominent issues troubling the church today. Increasingly, we are faced with stories about pastors who misuse their position of authority to achieve their own selfish ends to the . . . Continue reading →

Review: Coleman and Rester, Eds., Faith in the Time of Plague

The past two-and-a-half years of COVID-19 fears, restrictions, and dissensions have led to strenuous circumstances for many professions and vocations. The callings of pastors and ministers have been no exception. It has been especially difficult for sessions, consistories, diaconates, and congregations in . . . Continue reading →

Parachurch or Pastoring (Part 2)

Previously began a discussion about parachurch ministries in relation to the church. The point was to raise a concern about how, frequently, parachurch ministries implicitly, if (perhaps) unintentionally, try to usurp the visible, institutional church’s primary role in God’s plan to save . . . Continue reading →

Mark Driscoll And The Danger Of “God Told Me”

I am catching up Christianity Today’s podcast series, “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. The August 30, 2021 episode, “Questioning the Origin Myth: A Rise and Fall Short Story,” centered around what, in Reformed theology, piety, and practice, we call the internal call to ministry. In our understanding of Scripture and its outworking in the life of the church there are two aspects to the call to ministry, the internal and the external. Continue reading →

When Confessional P & R Congregations Do Not Exist Or Disappoint

A reader writes: “I’ve followed your blog and podcast for a while now. I have not been a Reformed/Presbyterian for very long, but I do know that I want to be a part of a specific congregation that is committed to confessional . . . Continue reading →

The Synod Of Dort Opposed Funeral Sermons

Where funeral sermons are not held, they shall not be introduced; and where they already have been accepted, diligence shall be exercised to do away with them by the most appropriate means. —Church Order of the Synod of Dort (1619).

The Reformation Of Worship In Geneva

The reformers did not hold back in their assault on the physical and sensory elements of traditional worship: all sacred objects such as crucifixes, statues of saints, and holy relics were removed from the temples.1 Most were systematically destroyed; a few were . . . Continue reading →

Man Discovers Jesus’ Hymnal

What if I told you that it’s possible to sing the very songs that Jesus sang in worship? What if I told you that a man recently discovered those very songs? It’s true. Joe Holland, Pastor of Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) . . . Continue reading →

Why I’m Not Cynical About The Church

Sean writes (in response to another post) raising the question implicitly of cynicism about the visible, institutional church. My response is below. I understand disappointment with the discipline process. I’m disappointed when a consistory places people under discipline and those who’ve been . . . Continue reading →