From the Editor. I always picture John Bunyan either in a jail cell or head-in-hands depressed over his spiritual state at his cottage tablebut never joyfully ministering to the youth of his congregation. Robert McKelvey nicely disabuses us of those images in his article "John Bunyan as a Pastor of Youth." Along these lines, John Muether reviews a book that continues the unique and thorough research of sociologist Christian Smith on the religious state of American youth, by looking at the next stage of youth after the teensyoung adulthoodin Souls in Transition.
My only New Year's resolution was to publish more book reviews. Publishing four book reviews is considerably easier than losing four pounds; and it is considerably more enjoyable. Hopefully it will add weight to your library. A book review reveals as much about the thought of the reviewer as it does about the book being reviewed. The best reviews are a happy confluence of both, constituting a unique genre of literature, and one of my favorites.
In trying to keep you up to date on the plethora of books assessing the electronic environment, I have chosen two of the best recent offerings: Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains; and William Powers, Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. These are useful tools to assist us in navigating our rapidly changing environment.
John Muether reviews an important nineteenth-century Presbyterian book on ecclesiology by Stuart Robinson, The Church of God, republished in 2009 by our own Committee on Christian Education. As Calvin and his colleagues insisted, if we don't get the doctrine of the church, its government and worship, right, then all the good doctrine in the world will prove largely ineffective.
As we consider ministry to our younger members, Bill Shishko reviews a helpful new book by practical theology professor and pastor Tim Witmer, The Shepherd Leader, to help officers better minister to the whole flock.
Don't miss the last of pastor-poet George Herbert's famous love trilogy.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds
From the Archives: CHILDREN IN THE CHURCH, COMMUNICANT CHURCH MEMBERSHIP YOUNG PEOPLE
- About Children in the Worship Services of the Church." (David King) 8:1 (Jan. 1999): 21-22.
- Little Children and the Worship of God." (Randy Booth) 8:4 (Oct. 1999): 72-75.
- Bringing Our Children to Communicant Church Membership." (John R. Hilbelink) 11:1 (Jan. 2002): 17-20.
- Helping Covenant Children Make Profession of Faith." (J. Peter Vosteen) 11:1 (Jan. 2002): 15-16.
- Is My Covenant Child Ready for Communicant Church Membership?" (David Barker) 11:1 (Jan. 2002): 10-14.
- Soul Searching: Religion among the Teens." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 16 (2007): 136-39.
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 endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.