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

A Way Forward for PCA Peace, Health, and Unity

Will the PCA make changes by legislative fiat from the top – or – by consensus among the presbyteries and local congregations?

This pastor remains far more concerned that the peace of our church will be wounded by unwitting defenses and advocacies, which employ legislative fiat, in thesi deliverances, or manipulating things such that voting among the grassroots presbyteries is strictly avoided.  That may be the way to win a demagogic vote, but it’s a surefire way... Continue Reading

Reflections From A Black Presbyterian On The PCA’s Overture On Racial Reconciliation

The PCA’s Overture 43: The evening of June 23, 2016, may have been one of the most refreshing time in the denomination’s history.

The overture on racial reconciliation will not abruptly change the culture of an entire denomination. Anyone who thinks otherwise is ripe for disappointment. At the same time, approving this statement makes a statement. It says to people both within and outside the PCA that we stand against racism in all its forms and commit ourselves... Continue Reading

PCA GA: Overture 43 On Racial Reconciliation Approved 861-123

The PCA General Assembly approved Overture 43 on racial reconciliation with an 85% vote of the commissioners

The Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly, meeting in Mobile, Ala., voted on June 23 to approve Overture 43 on racial reconciliation. This action began when a personal resolution on racial reconciliation was presented to the 43rd PCA General Assembly in 2015. After debate on the resolution, a motion was approved to recommend to the... Continue Reading

PCA GA: AC Committee of Commissioners Recommends Not Erecting Study Committee on Women In Ministry

The AC Committee of Commissioners votes 31-7 to recommend that the PCA General Assembly not approve the proposal to erect a study committee on women in ministry.

The Cooperative Ministries Committee (CMC) of the Presbyterian Church in America approved sending a recommendation to the PCA General Assembly that it erect a study committee on the issue of women serving in the ministry of the church. This proposal was assigned to the Committee of Commissioners (CoC) reviewing the work of the Administrative Committee... Continue Reading

PCA GA: Overtures Committee Recommends Adoption of Overture 43 On Racial Reconciliation

Overture 43 as amended and approved by the Overtures Committee is being recommended to the PCA General Assembly for its consideration

On Monday, June 20, the Overtures Committee considered these overtures and voted to recommend that Overture 43 from Potomac Presbytery be answered in the affirmative as amended, and all other overtures be answered with reference to Overture 43. The action of the Overtures Committee, which adopted it by a vote of 8 5-3, is a... Continue Reading

Review and Comparison of PCA 2016 GA Racial Repentance Overtures

Assessing overtures coming before the PCA General Assembly on repentance for racial sins in the PCA going back to the Civil Rights era.

Overtures calling for both propose we take action at both the denominational level and the local level. I find myself in favor of this approach. Admittedly without offering an extended defense of my opinion, let me briefly highlight the key considerations persuading me. First, I believe the covenantal considerations found in Ezra and Nehemiah’s examples... Continue Reading