From the Editor. Apologetics is as much for the strengthening of the church as it is for winning the world. Of course a strong church will tend to win the world. If pointing out the beauty of the truth we affirm has not been first on our apologetic agenda—if it has been there at all—perhaps it is time to consider the importance of beauty in our defense of, or at least in our portrayal of, our faith. “Beautiful Truth” seeks, in a small way, to place this topic on our list of things to consider in the new year.
Brian DeJong brings another dimension of the apologetic enterprise to the fore. In “Lord Defender: Jesus Christ as Apologist” he challenges us to answer the question, “Why do we skip Jesus when we look to the New Testament for examples of apologetics?” He presents a challenging reconsideration of our usual Pauline approach.
I review what I consider to be the best introduction to the life and ministry of the late Francis Schaeffer: William Edgar’s Schaeffer on the Christian Life. Whatever differences we may have with his methodology at certain points, his is a life and ministry to be reckoned with. His formative influence on me is something I am very grateful for. Edgar presents us with a factual and compelling portrait, as a friend of Schaeffer and an influential apologist himself.
Next to Schaeffer there is no better known Christian thinker than Os Guinness, who was a student of Schaeffer’s in the 1960s. William Edgar, another student of Schaeffer’s from that era, reviews Guinness’s latest book, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times. Guinness’s brilliant penetration of the modern mind and the culture it has produced is especially significant due to his ability to communicate to an intelligent lay audience. Like Schaeffer, his analysis is only half the battle. Encouraging and guiding the church is the other half, convincingly delivered.
Douglas Felch’s review of Abraham Kuyper’s Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science and Art provides us with a very useful overview of Kuyper’s thinking about science and its relation to Christian faith. Kuyper has been one of the most influential thinkers in the last century of Reformed thought and practice. Our considerations of natural law and common grace must take him into account.
Mitchell Herring reviews a symposium based on a recent conference on the progress of Reformed missions in China. China’s Reforming Churches, edited by Bruce Baugus, analyses and emphasizes the need for distinctly Presbyterian and Reformed missions in China, continuing the reforming work of Presbyterian John Nevius, whose principles for biblical church planting have ironically given the name to the state sponsored church—Three Self.
Finally, the incomparable Christina Rossetti gives us the first of three poems in which she considers the new year in relation to the old.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “APOLOGETICS”
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.