From the Editor. Even as a child the secular proverb, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” never made any sense to me, because I found hurtful talk, well, hurtful. God’s Word teaches the opposite of that proverb: “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Prov. 15:4); “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18). So, Ryan McGraw’s “Cultivating Christ-Honoring Speech in Church Courts (Proverbs 15:1–4)” is a welcome corrective to our sinful natures.
Elder Jonathan Looney brings a helpful perspective on the staging of public worship. In a culture that prizes spontaneity, it is refreshing to have some wisdom shed on the importance of the kind of decorum that Scripture requires in the performance of those who lead in public worship. Yes, it is a performance shaped by a sincere desire to guide the congregation in the worship of almighty God.
Again, in this five hundredth year of the celebration of Luther’s historic inauguration of the Reformation, we have two offerings in the history department. Denominational historian John Muether offers the fifth installment of Reformed Confessions with “The Scottish Confession of Faith (1560),” as we see Reformed orthodoxy develop in its creedal statements. Danny Olinger presents the eighth chapter of his biography of Geerhardus Vos, “The Biblical Theology,” exploring Vos’s most enduring contribution to biblical studies.
Dave Holmlund digs deeply into Post-Reformation theology in his review of Johannes Cocceius’s The Doctrine of the Covenant and Testament of God. Cocceius was “one of the greatest of the seventeenth-century Scholastics who systematized orthodox Protestant theology in the period between the Reformation and the rise of rationalism.”
The poem this month, “Time and the Bell,” is a reflection on T.S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton” from The Four Quartets.
The cover picture this month is the view from the porch of Camp Shiloh, where the Shiloh Institute is held each June, in Jefferson, New Hampshire.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “WORSHIP”
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.