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Ordained Servant Online

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Theology in Ministry

Ordained Servant Cover

November 2008

From the Editor. Whatever the outcome of elections—even the very important ones—the results are temporary. Theology, on the other hand—biblical, systematic, and confessional—has a lasting impact on the church. In our era of sermon-lite, officers in the church must resist the temptation to think of theology as a luxury, when it is actually what defines us and everything we do.

In my editorial ("Biblical Theology and the Confessing Church," Part 1) I will distinguish among the three types of theology mentioned above, and show the place of each in the development of the church's confessions. The goal of theological reflection in the academy and in the church should be the articulation of what the church believes for the sake of its own life and witness.

Perhaps the institutional distance between the church and the seminary tends to reduce theology to a merely intellectual exercise in the training of professionals, having little importance for the church. In pragmatic America even the intellectual exercise tends toward the cultivation of technique, often more resembling an MBA than a mastery of divinity for the ministry of the Word. In order to recover a proper doctrine of the church theology and ministry need to be drawn closer together. One way we can do this is to be good students and practitioners of theology in our exercise of our offices. Theology should, after all, be a supremely churchly affair.

James Dennison demonstrates the ancient lineage of biblical theology in the writings of Irenaeus (second century AD). John Fesko reviews John Frame's introduction to systematic theology. And finally, that ecclesiastical wit Eutychus II cautions us not to pit life against doctrine, and encourages us to unite the two in the way that Machen defined Christianity, as "a way of life founded upon doctrine." Theology and ministry, as well as theology and the Christian life, have everything to do with one another.

My review of Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God will appear on January 1.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


From the Archives


  • "Biblical Theology and the Session - Part 1: Redemptive History and the Church's Confession of Faith." (James S. Gidley) 9:2 (Apr. 2000): 35-38.
  • "Biblical Theology and the Session - Part 2: Redemptive History and the Church Discipline." (James S. Gidley) 9:3 (Jul. 2000): 50-54.
  • "Biblical Theology and the Session - Part 3: Redemptive History and the Character of the People." (James S. Gidley) 9:4 (Oct. 2000): 72-76.

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.

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