"The Reformed tradition, because of its application of the regulative principle of worship, opposed the celebration of any other day than the Sabbath as a required assembly for church members. The regulative principle teaches succinctly that the church, corporately conceived, may require only what finds clear and explicit warrant in God's Word. The church calendar, … Continue reading Should Christian Churches Observe the Church Calendar?
Biblical and Historic Teaching of the Incarnation The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the Word who was with God and was God, "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1-3, 14). We learn from Scripture that in Christ "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (Colossians 1:19), that "he is the radiance of … Continue reading What Does It Mean That “God Became a Man”?
Simply put, classical Christian theism is the biblical and historic model of Christian theism committed to upholding the confession that God "is infinite in being and perfection" (Westminster Confession of Faith, 2.1; cf. Psalm 145:3). As James Dolezal puts it, "the underlying and inviolable conviction [of classical theism] is that God does not derive any … Continue reading What Is Classical Christian Theism?
Question: "How do you respond to those who believe that the work of the church is to 'transform society' or to 'bring in the Kingdom'? Answer: "First, I say that the coming of the kingdom is not evident in transforming society. As I've said, the church through word, sacrament, and discipline is advancing the kingdom … Continue reading Should the Church Seek to Transform Society?
Question: "Does the church have a prophetic voice, challenging sin wherever it finds it, even in politics and culture?" Answer: "It depends on what you mean. Expounding and teaching God's word does involve challenging sin, obviously. But what people often mean is that they want the church to apply the truths of the word to … Continue reading More on the Church’s Heavenly Mission
Question: "Should the church tell people how to vote for specific candidates, based on issues like abortion or gay marriage?" Answer: "Definitely not. The church may and should speak to all the laws of the Decalogue, including the sixth and seventh. Why the first four don't receive more attention is anyone's guess - could it … Continue reading Should the Church Tell People How to Vote?
"We are now living in a generation of African Americans who are significantly unchurched. For three centuries, the black church stood as the central institution of black life. Its relevance was unquestioned and its moral and spiritual capital unparalleled. Now, the church is largely viewed as irrelevant by vast numbers of mostly young African Americans, … Continue reading The Church’s Mission Is Heavenly, Not Earthly or Social
I'm going to start a series on the Heidelberg Catechism. Some of us may be unfamiliar with the purpose or teaching of the catechism, so here is a brief introduction, taken from the Forms and Prayers of the United Reformed Churches of North America. (You look through this valuable resource here.) "The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) … Continue reading Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism
“Merciful Father, “You so loved the world that You gave Your only begotten Son. He who was rich became poor for us, the eternal Word made flesh, a great light shining in the darkness. Only because of Your Word and Spirit have we seen that Light and been drawn into its brightness. “Give us the … Continue reading A Christmas Prayer
Let us first consider the practice of our own churches. If we have a children's ministry, teach and catechize our children, periodically call our children disciples, and let our children worship in "big church," then, yes, we should baptize our children. If this is our practice, then it's clear that we don't exclude our children … Continue reading Should We Baptize Our Children?