What We Believe
i
Gregory Reynolds

From the Editor. As warm weather comes around, I thought, especially after the year that we have endured, that a topic that would lead us away or above the present situation would be helpful. For me reading and writing poetry have provided just such mental sabbatical, brief though it usually is. It provides a respite from the pervasive electronic noise that keeps us all from meditating on important things. So, while I will focus to some degree on the value of poetry for preaching, I will also seek to open up a vista on poetry’s value for every Christian. I am happy to have my friend and partner in this poetic passion, Mark Green, contribute to this issue. So, pick your favorite summer tree, grab a book of poetry, and enjoy one of God’s greatest blessings. I have provided a Beginner’s Poetry Bibliography for those of you who are new to poetry. It also has some advanced resources and is available here.

“The Power of Poetry for Preaching and Enjoyment” is meant to help preachers improve their oral skills, but it is also a kind of primer for appreciating and simply enjoying poetry. Not only is a third of the Bible poetry, but the rest is crafted with various types of literary structures, like the chiasm. Our God designed the text of the Bible to be memorable in oral cultures. So, appreciating poetry of all kinds will help us be better Bible readers.

In “Your Personal Odyssey in Stereo” Mark Green encourages us to learn to enjoy poetry by hearing it read by the best voices. Homer, is, of course, one of the most influential poets in the Western canon. His epic journey in the Odyssey has stirred the imagination of generations. Life itself becomes a kind of poetry. Paul writes, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). The Greek word translated “workmanship” is poiēma (ποίημα), from which we get our word “poem.”

Danny Olinger gives us the second chapter of The Writings of Meredith G. Kline on the Book of Revelation: “The First Resurrection” (1975). Kline’s work is rooted in the soil of Geerhardus Vos’s Reformed biblical theology.

Alan Strange continues his “Commentary on the Form of Government of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church” with chapters 18–20. When complete this will be published as a unique resource for church officers. Sessions should encourage its officers and the interns, who are under care or licensed, to pay careful attention to the exposition of our standards.

Bill Davis reviews the fourth edition of Gilbert Meilaender’s Bioethics: A Primer for Christians, in his review article, “Medical Technology: A Blessing Not to Be Idolized.” Professor Davis has used this as a textbook for many years since the first edition in 1996. The greatest value of this book is its challenge to the temptation to make an idol of medical technology. Davis assesses this with intelligent care.

Ryan McGraw reviews Joel R. Beeke and Nick Thompson, Pastors and Their Critics: A Guide to Coping with Criticism in the Ministry. This is one of the most common and sensitive issues in pastoral ministry. This book is full of biblically sage advice.

Finally, I have provided a medley of poems in the category of Ars Poetica for your summer enjoyment. Ars Poetica are poems about poetry—“the art of poetry.” Of particular interest is Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. Most people read this as a love poem, but read it aloud carefully and you will see it is about the Bard’s poetry.

The cover photo is the Cape Neddick Light in York, Maine, commonly called the Nubble Light. Constructed in 1879, it is still in use today.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

FROM THE ARCHIVES “POETRY”

Subject Index Vols 1–28

  • “Preaching and Poetry: Learning the Power of Speech” (Gregory E. Reynolds) 16 (2007): 17–22.
  • “The Value of Daydreaming” (Gregory E. Reynolds) 21 (2012): 18–20.
  • “The Rhythms of the Christian Life in Bible Reading, Prayer, and Poetry” (Gregory E. Reynolds) 22 (2013): 109–11.
  • “‘Submission’: A Model for Preachers.” (Gregory E. Reynolds) 22 (2013): 13–16.
  • “Beautiful Truth” (Gregory E. Reynolds) 24 (2015): 6–7.

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, confessional Presbyterianism.

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