Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 9): The Peace Of The Church In Submission

The Apology, in addition to questioning the extent and nature of the authority exercised by church judicatories, also questioned the authority of Synod over presbyteries. The disagreement that precipitated their objection was whether Synod had the jurisdiction to regulate the examination of . . . Continue reading →

Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 10): The Peace Of The Church In Submission

Thomson, while asserting Synod’s authority to make binding acts upon lower judicatories, argued that there were appropriate times for disobedience. The primary concern of the Presbytery of New Brunswick regarding the submission to Synod was that it could potentially result in submission . . . Continue reading →

Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 11): Obedience To Lawful Matters

Thomson distinguished between what was considered sinful and what was considered lawful. If something was considered indifferent or a matter of Christian liberty in Scripture, meaning not sinful, then the officers of the church could determine whether such an action would be . . . Continue reading →

Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 12): Confessional Subscription And Doctrinal Purity

Prior to the Adopting Act of 1729, the church had only a general understanding assumed between presbyteries and individual ministers that the Westminster Standards were to be upheld. As a ‘particular’ church united together, they were not under the authority of or . . . Continue reading →

Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 13): The Adopting Act

As detailed in the first chapter, controversy over interpretations of what took place at the Adopting Act of 1729 abound. Thomson interpreted the events to support a strict form of subscription. He suspected that only the first half of the Adopting Act, . . . Continue reading →

Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 14): Terms Of Communion

As a particular church, Thomson argued that the officers of the church needed to exercise their authority to adopt a confession for their communion. As a Synod not formally associated with any other church, the Synod could adopt a set of standards . . . Continue reading →

Peace And Purity Provided By Authority: John Thomson’s Defense Of Presbyterian Church Polity (Part 15): Conclusion

Close attention has been paid thus far to Thomson’s articulation of Presbyterian Church government, which stood in juxtaposition with his opponents. In response to the objections of the New Side, Thomson’s works revealed the ultimate reason why he opposed what they were . . . Continue reading →

Polity Matters: How Reformed Churches Might Have Handled The Chandler Situation

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a megachurch of about 14,000 members in Flower Mound, TX, which is a northern suburb in the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex (it is the top of the triangle of the three). After the . . . Continue reading →