What We Believe
i
Gregory Reynolds

From the Editor. We live in rancorous times which unlike former times cause us to experience the rancor almost ubiquitously and continuously. The ease with which messages may be sent through various media tend to undermine thoughtfulness and personal accountability. Sin has always caused societal toxicity, but the contemporary electronic environment has exacerbated this poisonous atmosphere. Church officers are not immune to this poison and are called not only to avoid it themselves but also to help their congregations to eschew it.

Because ministers are in the best position to model humility, compassion, and thoughtful communication, I have thought it prudent to cover this topic in an editorial that is slightly expanded from 2012, “A Little Exercise for Young Theologians Revisited.” Old theologians are always in need of renewing the exercise. Richard Gaffin’s submission of “Ordination and Installation Charge” reminded me of this editorial, based on Helmut Thielicke’s (1908–86) 1962 booklet entitled A Little Exercise for Young Theologians.[1] Gaffin reminds us that essential to preaching the Word faithfully is a servant attitude. As Paul reminded Timothy, “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness (2 Tim. 2:24–25).” Gentleness, patience, and kindness are an essential part of the whole counsel of God we are sworn to uphold.

“Reflections from the Front Lines” is part of the initiative of the Special Committee on Ruling Elders of the CCE to address the need of “assisting in the education, training, and encouragement of ruling elders in the discharge of the duties of their office.” I am working with the committee to incorporate a podcast as part of the ministry of Ordained Servant to address the needs of the office of elder where most appropriate. When a sufficient number of topics addressing the education, training, and encouragement of ruling elders is complete, the podcasts will expand their subject matter for pastors and deacons, encompassing the entire mission of the journal.

Danny Olinger gives us the fourth chapter of The Writings of Meredith G. Kline on the Book of Revelation: Chapter 4 – “Images of the Spirit” (1980). His discovery of Meredith G. Kline’s 1946 ThM thesis in the Montgomery Library of Westminster Theological Seminary led to his development of Kline’s work on Revelation throughout Kline’s writings. Kline’s work on John’s Apocalypse, together with Olinger’s summary and analysis, is an unfolding treasure to the church. This is also the second part of our republication of Meredith G. Kline’s 1946 thesis.

I continue to be impressed with Alan Strange’s commentary on our Form of Government. It is destined to be of enormous help to ministers, sessions, candidates, and presbytery committees on candidates and credentials.

In “Chrysostom on Preaching the Word” Joseph Tipton reviews a new book on the subject by Gerald Bray. Tipton’s review reminds us of the strengths and weaknesses of the hermeneutics of the ancient church. But Chrysostom’s pastoral care in accommodating his congregation in his preaching is a good reminder to preachers to follow the example of our Savior’s use of illustrations from common life.

In “Can We Fully Separate Ecclesiology and Polity?” Ryan McGraw reviews Gregg Allison’s The Church: An Introduction. This book is part of a Crossway series of Short Studies in Systematic Theology. This primer on the doctrine of the church calls churches to conform their church polity to a biblical doctrine of the church, even as its author comes to some conclusions different from ours.

Stuart Jones’s review of Hongyi Yang, A Development, Not a Departure: The Lacunae in the Debate of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Gender Roles, gives us some helpful ideas on how to navigate this profound and presently controversial topic.

Finally, do not miss eighteenth-century black female poet Phillis Wheatley’s “A Hymn to the Evening.”

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

[1] Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, trans. Charles L. Taylor (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1962).

FROM THE ARCHIVES “ORDINATION, SERVANT LEADERS”

http://opc.org/OS/pdf/Subject_Index_Vol_1-28.pdf

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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