44th PCA General Assembly (2016): Selected Acts & Deliverances

Some highlights of actions taken at the 44th GA of the Presbyterian Church in America.

PCA statistics reported at the end of 2015: Total membership, 370,332 (increase of 11, 816, as opposed to a decrease of 1,318 the year before); Churches, 1,534 (increase of 35); Ministers, 4,556 (increase of 140); and Presbyteries, 84. Attendance at the 2016 General Assembly meeting in Mobile, Alabama: 1,252 commissioners (977 Teaching Elders, 275 Ruling... Continue Reading

How Should Christians Think About Corporate Apologies?

It’s been a busy season for public apology and repentance

“How then should Christians think about corporate apology and repentance? My short answer: as a careful, genuinely corporate exercise there can be great value in approving statements of shared repentance, but as a genre of complaint and rebuke, public apologies are normally misguided and misleading.”   It’s been a busy season for public apology and... Continue Reading

Women’s Issues in the PCA

If the intent of this recommendation was merely to explore the ways in which non-ordained women can engage in ministry without violating the BCO, then this recommendation chose perhaps the most exceedingly poor way of communicating that idea.

Actually, far more alarming to me now is the wording of the suggestion regarding the pastoral letter. The language of women serving alongside elders in the pastoral work of the church already suggests that the substance of what elders do is something that women can do. It is not a long step from that perspective... Continue Reading

2016 PCA General Assembly: Moving Forward Together

I departed from Mobile, Alabama with a renewed hope that these differences exist within a general consensus for biblical and Reformed fidelity that is growing stronger, not weaker.

Likewise, I departed from the PCA’s General Assembly with concerns and frustrations, as usual.  But I am grateful to the Lord to serve in a denomination that continues to occupy its vital spiritual real estate at the crossroads of evangelicalism and Calvinism. I agreed with the fraternal delegate from the OPC, who commented that what... Continue Reading

How The PCA GA Action On The Role Of Women In The Church Appears To One Woman

A Reflection on the 2016 PCA General Assembly written by a PCA pastor’s wife, who is herself a seminary graduate.

I enjoy being a woman according to the example outlined in Scripture, in part, just so that I can see my husband being a man as defined by Scripture. I am fulfilled as a woman with my beautiful submissive, nurturing role that provides opportunities to bring out the leadership role of my husband….Nevertheless, my culture... Continue Reading

“Who Are The 123 Who Voted Against The Overture?” Here’s One.

Why I voted against the racial reconciliation overture at the 44th PCA General Assembly.

When it comes to calling upon believers to confess and repent of the sins of a prior generation the vast majority of which they had little if anything to do with personally, it seems to me we are in danger of trivializing repentance along the lines of Calvin’s warning and at the same time falling... Continue Reading

A Troubling Turn: PCA General Assembly 2016

This year there were four conventional, par-for-the- course General Assembly decisions that included problematic elements: missional theology, the Sabbath, racial reconciliation, and women in ministry.

Why do I regard the approval of this study committee as a “troubling turn?” I believe that this approach poses a threat to the unity of the PCA. If the progressives have their way and ordination is opened to women, there will most certainly be a split. Too many of us recognize that there is... Continue Reading

What’s in a Name? Critical Reflections on the PCA’s Women in Ministry Study Committee

So, if not intended to push the question of ordination of women, why include the topic of ordination at all?

The way the Reformed Christian community talks about, responds to, and values women needs much work. I hope that the newly formed study committee on the role of women in the PCA will conduct a more thorough investigation into what these many unanswered questions affecting women actually are before they start attempting to answer them.... Continue Reading

PCA Goes Back to Where It Started: Women’s Ordination

Meanwhile, the shrinking PCUSA makes plans to recover its identity.

Contention over the PCA’s stance against female ordination isn’t new. In 2009, the general assembly narrowly voted (446–427) against creating a committee to study women’s roles. Even before that, the denomination argued over whether commissioning “deaconesses” to help male deacons is tantamount to ordaining them. (Tim Keller argued for commissioning, and not ordaining, deaconesses.)  ... Continue Reading

What I Saw at the 44th General Assembly of the PCA (1)

One of the most significant things that occurred last week was the overwhelming passage of Overture 43 on racial reconciliation.

But if the PCA is going to corporately repent for sins committed by PCUS churches in the south during the battles over civil rights then let us also as a denomination repent for the northeastern PCUSA’s sins of rejecting the authority of Scripture and de-gospeling missions. Is not the PCUSA our parent denomination? Under this... Continue Reading