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New Horizons

February, 2013: Why Christians Need Confessions

New Horizons Cover

Contents

The entire issue is available in the following formats: PDF  ePub  and  Mobi 

Why Christians Need Confessions

Despite claims to the contrary, the Christian world is not divided between those who have creeds and confessions and those who just have the Bible. It is actually divided between those who have creeds and confessions and write them down in a public form, open to public scrutiny and correction, and those who have them and do not write them down. The reason is simple: every church (and indeed every Christian) believes the Bible means something, and what it thinks the Bible means is its creed and confession, whether it chooses to write its beliefs down or not.

Of course, those who argue that they have no creed but Christ and no book but the Bible are usually trying to protect something important and biblical: the supreme authority of Scripture in all matters of Christian faith and practice. They rightly fear allowing unbiblical traditions or ideas to impact the substance of what the church believes. Yet for all of the good intentions that they may have, I believe that that which they want to protect—the unique status of Scripture—is actually best protected through explicit confessional documents, connected to a carefully thought-out form of church government. Read more

How the Standards Changed My Life

When the editor of New Horizons invited me to write this article, I knew I had to do it. Why? Because of what the Westminster Standards did for me. So let me tell you my story.

I begin with an event that took place in my fortieth year as a pastor. My father died at the age of 93 in 1993, and I was honored to officiate at his funeral. Before returning home to North Dakota, my wife and I paid a final visit to my 95-year-old mother, who was living in a care center in Seguin, Texas. We were quietly talking about spiritual things when she said something that prompted me to blurt out these words: “But Mother, what is the chief end of man, anyway?” Read more

Our Church: Looking Back and Ahead

Where is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church going? Where has it been? Where should it be? If these questions are answered correctly, the responses to them will be the same. Let’s have a look.

We are standing fast—not standing still—on the same foundation as we were when the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was founded in 1936. The Word of God tells us that we are in a spiritual war, and he actually commands us to stand fast in the evil day, even providing us with the spiritual armor to do that (Eph. 6:10–18). Be strong! Be courageous! Fight the good fight! Stand fast! Pray! Read more

 
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