From the Editor: The modern world privileges informality with the mistaken idea that the informal is more authentic. So the written rolls of church membership and the vows to affirm the commitment of membership are seen as being unspiritual. This is a nineteenth-century Romantic ideal, not a biblical one, but cultural pressures persist, and the less people pay attention to their Bibles the easier world-conformity becomes. Ryan McGraw and Ryan Speck address the question, “Is Church Membership Biblical?” Their answer is persuasive.
Glen Clary reviews Scott Manetsch’s new book Calvin’s Company of Pastors. A study of the ministerial discipline and practice in Calvin’s Geneva yields a rich picture of early Reformation ministry. It is another reminder of how biblical forms and spiritual life are not mutually exclusive but essentially complementary.
Mike Horton always has his finger on the cultural pulse. Dale Van Dyke’s review of Horton’s latest offering, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World, reminds us of another dimension of the form-substance discussion. In a world that elevates the sensational, it is the ordinary means of grace and Christian living, worship, and service that are most importance in the eyes of our Lord. This book should be of great encouragement to us ordinary Christians who seek God’s glory in a world that does not recognize how extraordinary our God’s grace is.
But in the spiritual battle those who minister the Word can often become very disheartened. Stephen Magee reviews Clay Werner’s book, On the Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor, which points to the cross of Christ as the only means to see weary pastors through the slough of despond.
In our last review David Booth looks at Gordon Wenham’s The Psalter Reclaimed, encouraging immersion in the canonical Psalms as a neglected means of worship and sanctification.
Finally, Christina Rossetti’s “The Common Offering” focuses us on the ordinary ways that our love is expressed in response to our Lord’s extraordinary love for us.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “CHURCH MEMBERSHIP”
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.