The Regulative Principle of “Liturgical Sameness?”

So long as the elements prescribed in Scripture are present and nothing is added by way of elements, a church does not sin merely because it chooses to organize its worship differently than some other PCA church

The fact that one church might choose to organize its worship differently than another is not, in itself, evidence that the RPW has been broken or neglected. The RPW does not promote the idea that unless a principle institutes uniformity then it has failed as a principle. There are those who argue that unless there is,... Continue Reading

The Hottest Thing at Church Is Not Your Pastor or Worship Leader

According to Gallup, it’s the sermon.

Even so-called seeker sensitive churches have discovered that theological depth appeals to lapsed Christians and non-believers. Last year, Ed Stetzer cited several examples of congregations (such as Oklahoma megachurch Life.Church) that shifted toward more rigorous teaching once they noticed interest from the unchurched: “In other words, those for whom sermons were being dumbed down aren’t dumb. They... Continue Reading

Douthat’s Wager: Go to Church, Even If You Don’t Believe

The argument Douthat makes is similar to one made by another conservative Catholic, the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, more than 350 years ago

“Douthat adapts Pascal’s case to a more secular age by bracketing belief. For the sake of his argument, it doesn’t matter if there’s such a thing as heaven or hell. The benefits of religion are all right here on earth. Just go to church, meet people, celebrate the holidays, learn about morality, bury the dead,... Continue Reading

First Presbyterian Church Seeks Healing, Redemption For Sins Committed During Civil Rights Era

People referred to it as “that church that wouldn’t let black people in”

“What we did was we explained to them, ‘Well, you’re right. You’re not asking forgiveness for something you didn’t do. You’re asking God to take away any discipline for something your forefathers did. You’re basically asking God to remove the spiritual inheritance of the former church and instead restore to us the spiritual inheritance that... Continue Reading

Where Evangelicals Came From

There is no mystery involved. They were always here. We were just not looking at them.

“Evangelicals” is an elastic term, and FitzGerald intermittently shrinks or stretches it. But she does direct us to the right starting point, to the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Great Awakenings, major religious events in our early history when the word “evangelicalism” came into wide American use. Evangelical religion is revival religion, that of emotional contagion.  ... Continue Reading

Ethnic Inclusion, Gender Roles and the Diaconate

One way of honoring the disenfranchised women in our churches is by praying and acting towards a revival of the role of Diaconate.

In moving forward, practical and intentional actions should be considered. The PCA Book of Church Order encourages the elders of our churches to “select and appoint godly men and women” to assist the Deacons in “caring for the sick, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, and others who may be in any distress or need” (BCO... Continue Reading

Scoot Over, That’s My Seat

My spot in church is more than just a thoughtless habit.

This is the spot where, week after week, my enthusiastic soprano notes join the booming bass of the church elder two rows ahead to create a joyful noise. This is the place where my heart adds its “Amen” to the united prayers of the whole congregation. This is the seat where the Word of God... Continue Reading

Praying for Families in Your Local Church. Some Helps.

What could be a helpful guide to aid you in praying for your local church?

“Plead earnestly that every home would be, as it were, a little church, earnestly and consistently about the worship of God in the home, led by the father, with the families gathered together to read the Word, sing God’s praises, and pray together — all for God’s glory.”   The Lord calls all believers to... Continue Reading

The Necessity of Preaching

Preaching is necessary because people need to hear Christ in order to believe in Him for salvation

“Preaching comes through Christ’s sent messengers. This implies that preachers are necessary for preaching and that God must equip and send them to preach on Christ’s behalf. This point builds upon the previous post, which defined preaching as a public authoritative proclamation of the gospel through Christ’s ordained ambassadors.”   Salvation is an expansive term.... Continue Reading

Ministers Are Human Too

It is one of the tragic curiosities of church life that the very men who are charged with the care of God’s people are so often treated in ways that show scant regard for their calling

“Ministers are slandered, vilified, addressed in anger – not by those who are the enemies of Christ and his gospel, but by professing Christians. And when the watching world catches glimpses of such behavior within the family of God, they rightly wonder what kind of ‘family’ it really is.”   I recently found myself in... Continue Reading