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New Horizons

July, 2011: Home Missions

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The Pastor as Prophet, Priest, and King

It is Monday morning (or Tuesday, if your pastor takes Monday off), and your pastor is wondering where to begin. There are sermons to write, committee meetings to plan, visits to make, and things left over from last week's list that he was never able to get to. He may already feel overwhelmed, and the week has not yet even begun.

Where should he begin? What should he be doing? Most Orthodox Presbyterian churches do not have a written job description for their pastor. We expect them to know what to do. But with the lack of a clear job description comes the problem of our expectations—unwritten, but as firm as if written in stone—of what our pastor ought to do. Pastors face the same problem: what should their priorities be? Read more

Harvesters in God's Fields

"A sower went out to sow." Are you seeing the iconic picture of a man with a bag of seed slung over his shoulder, scattering seed by hand? But there is a lot more to this activity of sowing.

The farmer makes a huge investment in the harvest. He owns or leases the land. He spends time planning what to sow, where to sow it, and when the sowing needs to be done. He invests in machinery to cultivate the land, sow the seed, and bring in the harvest. Money and time have been spent, but there is still no harvest. Throughout it all, the farmer lives in the hope of a harvest. Read more

Your Personal Relationship with Jesus

A common concept in our contemporary evangelical culture is that of the believer having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Do Reformed Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? That depends on what you mean by it.

Many evangelical Christians use the phrase "personal relationship with Jesus" as a synonym for being in saving union with Christ (or, to use more popular terminology, for "being saved"). Or, more narrowly, the phrase is used to describe those who are justified by grace through faith in Christ alone, apart from works. In this sense, committed Christians within the historic Reformed faith most certainly do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Like their broadly evangelical brethren, Reformed believers are "saved" through their union with Christ, having been justified through their God-given faith in Christ alone. Read more

Evangelism and the OPC: Part 3. Spending Our Inheritance

What would you do with an inexhaustible inheritance? The purpose of this final article is to reflect on the way in which evangelism is not merely part of our past, but also vital to our current sense of identity and mission. The previous two articles demonstrated that J. Gresham Machen and Cornelius Van Til believed that God had called the OPC into existence with a definite evangelistic mission. Evangelism was not merely a sidebar of the church’s life; it was essential to her being and justified her existence.

Had it not been for his clear sense of evangelistic urgency, Machen would not have been willing to burn the torch as brightly as he did. Van Til not only proclaimed that evangelism was at the core of the OPC’s reason for existence, but also, like Machen, practiced what he preached. He added to and strengthened what Machen had begun. Van Til’s self-consciously biblical and Reformed apologetic method may have been the gift God gave in place of the Machen whom he took away. In the hand of a willing servant of the gospel, Van Til’s apologetic method is a well-crafted, multipurpose tool for defending the faith. Read more

Woman to Woman: Bloom Where You Are Planted


Dear Aunt June, Read more

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