August / September 2006
From the Editor. As we sail slowly through the horse latitudes of summer, I would like us to think about the place of the supernatural in the work of the church and its ministry. This is a subject worthy of propelling us into the renewed pastoral activities of the fall.
As Barry Bonds makes his way, one swat at a time, toward Hank Aaron's lifetime home run record (755) we are brought face to face with a profound modern conflict. Can humans ultimately control everything, given the development of the proper techniques? Christians may quickly answer, "No, of course not." But this underestimates one of the most fundamental assumptions of our time: technique solves every human problem, technology being the greatest facilitator of technique. One of the temptations of church officers is to fall tacitly into thinking that ministry is a matter of technique, of finding the right means of communication and organization to achieve the church's glorious ends. Or, as Francis Schaeffer once asked himself: if the Holy Spirit were to withdraw himself from the church, would it make any difference in the way we live and serve?
Another angle on the supernatural influence in the church's life is what church historians D. G. Hart and John Muether call "The Myth of Influence" in their article by that title republished in this issue of OS. Organization, numbers of people, and political strategy are not the influence we should seek. The prophetic witness of Scripture and confession is.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we will endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic Presbyterianism.