Five Issues with the Inaugural Invocation

1. That is exists. I realize that it is tradition, but so what? Oddly, many of the same people who inveigh against  a “state church” will be thrilled that “one of our guys” gets to pray the invocation. Well, Rick isn’t exactly one . . . Continue reading →

It's Wrong When the Left Does It and Wrong When the Right Does It

According to the Presbyterian Layman Online (HT: AR) the PCUSA (the mainline, overwhelmingly liberal presbyterian denomination in N. America) has appointed a new director of what the Layman calls “controversial Washington lobbying office of the Presbyterian Church (USA).” My guess is that the . . . Continue reading →

The Myth of “Christian America”

Every four years (and in the interim) the question of whether we should regard the USA as a “Christian” nation re-emerges. There are three ways in which this question might be considered, sociologically, historically, and biblically-theologically. Under each rubric the case for . . . Continue reading →

America is Exceptional

In the previous post I tried to give some context to the claim that the USA is a “Christian” nation. There are ways in which that adjective is accurate and important ways in which it is not. Sometimes, however, when folk call . . . Continue reading →

Jack and the Kingdom of God (Updated)

In a piece that appears in Christianity Today online Ted Olson argues that a plan, which was cancelled, to free the Korean hostages in Afghanistan by taking hostage the families of the kidnappers is a bad idea because the Apostle Paul wouldn’t . . . Continue reading →

Does The State Illegitimately Control The Church?

It has recently been argued to me that, in the various states, because the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act(s), the Uniform Child Custody Justice Enforcement Act(s), and because most congregations (and denominations) have formed non-profit corporations (in the USA congregations usually become . . . Continue reading →

Variety Of Reformed Views On Mediatorial Kingship

Gillespie’s view of Christ’s kingship in relation to the nations is extensively set out in the pamphlets he wrote an answer to the publications of the Rev. Thomas Coleman, an Assembly commissioner and rector of St. Peter’s Church, Cornhill, in London. Coleman . . . Continue reading →

Constantine’s Complexity

Constantine lived his entire life within the imperial court, which he saw as the central institution of Roman life. He believed that the emperor’s job was to defend the empire from external foes while creating a more just and ordered society for . . . Continue reading →

Cromwell: Simul Iustus Et Peccator

Judging by his serene expression, he certainly doesn’t look like a man who should have changed England’s politics, culture and history forever. I refer to Oliver Cromwell and his expression preserved for the ages in his death mask on display at Warwick . . . Continue reading →

Notes From URCNA Synod Visalia 2014

Reporting from URCNA Synod in Visalia, California. In Reformed church government there are four deliberative bodies that make decisions, a consistory (ruling elders and ministers of a local congregation), a council (ruling elders, ministers, and deacons of a local congregation), classis (a . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 104: Authority And Submission (2)

In the first part we considered the most basic teaching of the fifth commandment. There are, however, several implications of this commandment on which the New Testament reflects explicitly. For example, the Apostle Paul spoke directly to the relationship between employers and . . . Continue reading →

A Significant Potential Threat To American Religious Liberty

Remember The “Lemon Test”?

This change in Section 512(a)(7) taxes nonprofit organizations – including houses of worship – for the cost of parking and transit benefits provided to employees. This significant change in the treatment of charitable organizations will require many nonprofit organizations to file federal . . . Continue reading →

Does Christianity Need Christendom To Thrive?

John Millbank is a theologian and the leader of an influential school of thought known as Radical Orthodoxy. Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology was published 20 years ago by Millbank, Catherine Pickstock, and Graham Ward. According to R. R. Reno, the Radical . . . Continue reading →

The Church And The Virus: Is This An Acts 5:29 Moment?

Introduction The Covid-19 Shutdown of 2020 has begun to produce a reaction, at least in the USA. Recently we have seen large-scale demonstrations in several states. The various orders issued by governors, mayors, and county executives to restrict movement has produced a . . . Continue reading →