Reflections on the State of PCA Polity

The stated polity of the PCA is intentionally "grassroots," that is "bottom-up" rather than "top-down."

In the PCA’s Book of Church Order 29-1 this claim is made: “The Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, together with the formularies of government, discipline, and worship are accepted by the Presbyterian Church in America as standard expositions of the teachings of Scripture in relation to both... Continue Reading

On the Worship Issue in the PCA: It Was All Over Before Terry Johnson Entered the PCA

Sorry, Terry, but the worship issue was over before you ever entered the PCA.

If the guide is what is “best,” then worship becomes a matter of preference. Why must we choose what is best and by what criteria are we to judge it? If I don’t care for The Metropolitan Opera, why not allow me my preference for the Grand Old Opry? Isn’t that’s what best for me?... Continue Reading

Commissioned Church Workers?

Seeking to distinguish between office, leadership, and authority.

Recommendation 7 of the PCA’s study committee on Women Serving in the Ministry of the Church states: “That presbyteries and the General Assembly consider an overture that would 21 establish formally the right of sessions, presbyteries, and the General Assembly to 22 establish the position of commissioned church worker within the PCA for qualified 23... Continue Reading

Your Preferences Aren’t the Point of Worship

I am upset at the idea of PCA minister publicly belittling any worship service based on nothing more than cultural preferences

I can confidently say that I wasn’t the “30-something church-planter” whom he alluded to, but I could have been. In the many years that I’ve been attending General Assembly I’ve often grumbled, I’ve often held up my preferences as the standard of worship, but whenever I’ve done that I was wrong.  We don’t worship in light... Continue Reading

Worship in the PCA in 2017

We are drowning in the liturgical chaos we call the PCA.

I wish that 40 years ago when I joined the PCA that the denomination’s elder statesmen had raised their voices warning those of us who came into Presbyterianism from other traditions, be they Baptist (as in my case), Lutheran, Anglican, or Pentecostal, that it was not for us to remake the church in accord with... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report – Recommendation 3

A review of Recommendation 3 in the Role of Women Report submitted to the PCA General Assembly.

Instead, while thinking through how to address scenarios we imagine may arise from such a recommendation, it is wisest to adopt a wait-and-see approach. The nature of this study committee report is not one where immediate action is required. Rather, because the report urges sessions to consider, recognize, or establish different ideas, the best that... Continue Reading

Identity Theology in the PCA

The central agitating issues at the recent PCA General Assembly meetings have been related to both race and gender.

This movement in the PCA is what I personally call Identity Theology.  It is a new theological focus on race and gender.  Identity Theology tends to substitute a paradigm of a class-struggle for the paradigm of sin-salvation.  Not that one is mutually exclusive of the other, but the prism though which the sin-salvation motif is... Continue Reading

Actions of the Forty-fifth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America

The PCA General Assembly met in Greensboro, NC from June 12-15, 2017.

  PCA by the numbers: Comparing 2015 with 2016 reported statistics, in 2016: We had 1,545 churches, an increase of 11. We had 347 mission churches, an increase of 20. We had a total membership of 374,161, an increase of 3,829. Giving was up in all categories. With virtually all mainline and some evangelical denominations... Continue Reading

A Report on PCA General Assembly 2017

Any gathering of sinners like me will at times be discouraging. But by the end of the week I was, for the most part, encouraged.

 I understand that some brothers, believing the PCA has drifted too far left, are seeking a way to lead their churches to a more confessional Presbyterian denomination. I am certainly sympathetic to their perspective. However, I believe it is far too early to abandon the PCA. This is not 1936. We are not the PC(USA).... Continue Reading

Why I Voted Against the Ad Interim Women in Ministry Study Committee Report

I believe that the PCA should entrust the local session to address the issue of women in the diaconate as it sees fit according to scripture.

This report primarily interacts with the New Testament exegetical report made by the women’s study committee, giving special attention to Romans 16:1 and 1 Timothy 3:8-12. My report does not set out to prove the committee’s findings as erroneous, but rather to show that their conclusions are, at best, tenuous.   Introduction: The study committee... Continue Reading

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