So I haven’t written much on this blog in a while, and I thought the best way back would be a nice, juicy, controversial topic. Well, ok, it doesn’t have to be that opportunistic, but I’ve had the issue of church organization, specifically the practice of “head of household” grouping and voting, on my mind for some time. It is a common practice in my denomination (the Communion of Reformed and Evangelical Churches), and we even practice it at my church. It’s also very controversial, within my own church (though we are all well behaved about it) and among other churches that I’ve known. There are some people who are very unhappy with it, and the concern often raised is what a church’s means of representation says about its larger theology. There also people who think it’s really great. So let’s talk.
1) First let’s define our terms. It might surprise you, but people almost always equivocate on “the church.” Baptists have a different definition of the word than do Presbyterians, and Presbyterians have a different definition than do Lutherans, and Lutherans have a different definition than do Episcopalians, and they all have a different definition from Roman Catholicism, so let’s say what exactly we are talking about.
For matters of church polity and voting, we are talking about congregations. Continue reading →
Peter Escalante and I are ready to unveil a new web project. The Calvinist International will be a new site where we will post regular essays, editorials, and book reviews. I will be focusing my energy there for the foreseeable future, and so I invite you to follow the newest material over there.
The paper will read like inside baseball to a lot of y’all, and I apologize. We felt that we needed to get down and dirty with a few points for the sake of those most intrigued by modern (and postmodern) “Christology.” The thesis is actually pretty basic though- The traditional history is actually pretty close to correct when it comes to Christological theology. The Reformed knew about this stuff and weren’t just poking their hands in the sand.
And most importantly, Christology should be about messiah and salvation. Whenever other interests take up the majority of your interest, you’re misusing the categories.
I want to announce that my church, Immanuel Presbyterian, will be hosting a conference with James B. Jordan this weekend. Saturday night, from 6:30-8:30, and Sunday morning, starting at 9am, Jim will be lecturing on the Joseph narratives of Genesis 37-50. These lectures will be an adventure in Biblical Theology, exploring creational echoes, Christological types, dreams, maturity, patience, service, and dominion.
We meet in Clinton, at Emeritus at Tracepointe, 501 E. Northside Drive. We’ll have accommodations for nursery and childcare. Come see us this weekend!