From the Editor. Andy Selle gives us the fruit of his many decades of ministry as a pastor and counselor in his two-part article on guidance: “Make Good Choices,” in which he presents three unbiblical views of guidance (this month), and then the wise biblical understanding and practice of guidance (next month).

David C. Noe offers “Beza on the Trinity, Part 4.” This translation reminds us of the careful linguistic and theological reasoning of the early orthodox theologians. Theodore Beza (1519–1605) is a sterling example.

David VanDrunen reviews Martin C. Spadaro’s Reading Matthew as the Climactic Fulfillment of the Hebrew Story, providing an important perspective on Matthew as a kind of last chapter of the Old Testament.

Gerry Malkus’s review of Vitringa’s The Spiritual Life reminds us of the once hidden treasures, of hitherto little-known theological giants coming to light regularly through translation. Charles Telfer has applied his considerable scholarly and linguistic skills to translating this wonderful work of Reformed spirituality. Vitringa’s work is a testimony to the true telos of Protestant Orthodoxy: to glorify God and enjoy him forever in the great tradition of Calvin’s treatment of the Christian life in the Institutes. Learning and piety go hand in hand for Vitringa. For him there is nothing more important or beautiful than the spiritual life in communion with God. I highly recommend this superb exploration of “the work of the grace of God in the hearts of men.”

I review a new biography of the King of the Cannibals, John Paton. While nothing can replace Paton’s riveting and inspiring first-hand account in his autobiography, this new summary of his life adds many personal aspects not present in his autobiography. Adding to the value of this new book by Schlehlein is the lessons from Paton’s life and work which occupy half the book.

Our poem this month, “The Waterfall,” is from an almost forgotten metaphysical poet, Henry Vaughan (1621–1695). Harold Bloom, who is normally not a fan of devotional poetry, has words of high praise for Vaughan,

After the incomparable George Herbert and John Donne’s transcendental poems of faith, Henry Vaughan seems to me a devotional poet unmatched in the seventeenth century, original beyond the poignant contributions of Robert Southwell, Francis Quarles, Richard Crashaw, Thomas Traherne, and the American Edward Taylor.[1]

Leland Ryken comments on the combination of natural and special revelation in the metaphysical poets, “For Christian poets like these, nature is more (but not less) than a physical phenomenon. It is also a signpost to spiritual reality.”[2]

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

[1] Harold Bloom, The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer through Frost (New York: Harper Collins, 2004), 193.

[2] Leland Ryken, ed., The Soul in Paraphrase: A Treasury of Classic Devotional Poems (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 152.


Subject Index

  • “What Should I Do? Making Decisions Biblically.” (Shane Lems) 20 (2011): 72–75.
  • “Seven Lessons for Missionaries from the Ministry of John Paton.” (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 20 (2011): 20–24.

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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