From the Editor. I remember years ago at a Scottish festival in Connecticut I encountered a Scottish book seller who was very bitter about the Sabbath practice that cramped his style as a young man. It was hard to hear this about a doctrine and practice that I had found liberating. But then the New England culture of my youth knew no such practices. Of course, cultural practices often become untethered from their original meaning and purpose. As sinners, however, we also rebel against God’s good and holy ways. In any case a revival of sound Sabbath keeping rooted in the marvel of God’s saving grace in Christ is sorely needed as an antidote to modernity with its menu of idolatries.
Retired professor Richard Gaffin reveals some surprising strands in John Calvin in “Calvin on the Sabbath: A Summary and Assessment.” It is helpful to remember the discontinuity on various doctrines, such as the Sabbath and assurance of faith, among the magisterial Reformers and Post-Reformation theologians.
Andy Wilson expounds a healthy perspective on the importance of Sabbath keeping in modern society in his article, “Sabbath Keeping in a Post-Christian Culture: How Exiles Cultivate the Hope of Inheriting the Earth.”
Harkening back to our own immediate tradition, D. Scott Meadows reviews Nicholas Bownd, The True Doctrine of the Sabbath (1606), one of the more influential treatises on the topic in the pre-Westminster Assembly era.
We have two offerings in the history department. Celebrating Reformation 500, denominational historian John Muether offers the fourth installment of Reformed Confessions with “The French Confession of Faith (1559),” as we see Reformed orthodoxy take confessional shape. Danny Olinger presents the seventh chapter of his biography of Geerhardus Vos, “Family Life, the Kingdom of God, and the Church,” in which the ordinary life of an extraordinary man is depicted during the Princeton Theological Seminary years. It goes on to explore Vos’s doctrines of the kingdom and the church with an excellent summary of The Teaching of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God and the Church (1903).
I review David Sax’s The Revenge of the Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter. This is a fascinating look at the revival of interest in analog reality in every arena of life as a necessary corrective of pervasive digital boosterism.
T. David Gordon reviews a fascinating book about the importance of reading, especially in the community of the church and neighborhood: C. Christopher Smith, Reading for the Common Good.
Finally, our poem of the month is by James R. Lee, who is a member of Westminster OPC in Westminster, California and teaches English at Cypress College. He has poems forthcoming in Christianity and Literature and Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and the Environment.
The cover picture is the steeple of the 1787 meeting house in Washington, New Hampshire, the highest township in the state (1,506 ft.) and the first municipality to be named after our first president, incorporated December 13, 1776. All of the photographs on Ordained Servant covers are mine. This enables me to avoid copyright issues.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “SABBATH”
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, confessional Presbyterianism.