From the Editor. The Bible is full of conflict, but God’s grace always calls for resolution when conflict is in the church. Alan Strange brings his considerable pastoral experience with this problem to explain biblical motives and methods of resolution in the first of a two-part article, “Conflict Resolution in the Church.”
David Noe continues his translation of Beza’s twenty-one theses on the Trinity (10–15). Next month Beza’s letter, published earlier this year in Ordained Servant Online, will be published with the complete twenty-one theses. This work should help to clarify this foundational doctrine amidst debates that sometime reflect a woeful ignorance of the church’s theology hammered out during the early centuries of its history.
Meredith M. Kline reviews Old Testament professor Bryan Estelle’s new book, Echoes of Exodus: Tracing a Biblical Motif. He provides a detailed analysis of this fine work of biblical theology in “A Way Out and a Way To: Intertextuality and the Exodus Motif.” This book elucidates the time-honored hermeneutical principle, “compare Scripture with Scripture.” Its rich exploration of biblical typology in the exodus motif will be a great help to the thoughtful preacher.
In “A Remarkable Season of Change,” I review a new history of the Internet, How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone, by Brian McCullough. This fascinating narrative documents the dramatic change in the American social structure and economy generated by the Internet. No technology in history has had such a sudden and pervasive impact on culture. While this work is largely descriptive, its detailed overview of the Internet’s development and effects helps in the development of a critical assessment.
John Somerville Jr.’s review article, “Memory and Hope,” on Between Two Millstones, Book 1: Sketches of Exile, 1974–1978, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, gives us insight into one of the great writers of the last century. Solzhenitsyn’s critique of the spiritual and moral decline of the West proved to be a source of suffering during the early years of his exile from Soviet Russia. His novel-like narrative is a study in different forms of oppression, reminding me of the differences between Orwell’s warnings against the oppression of the state control of communism and Huxley’s warnings against the oppression of pleasure. Solzhenitsyn might add the oppression of the press. Freedom is an elusive concept except when the truth of the gospel sets men free.
Just when you thought Eutychus II had disappeared, voilà, he has returned. In case you have forgotten his role, “From the Back Pew” with Eutychus II continues the tradition of Eutychus I, Ed Clowney’s pen name in the initial issues of Christianity Today (1956–1960). As Clowney explained in his later anthology, Eutychus (and his pin): “Eutychus was summoned to his post as a symbol of Christians nodding, if not on the window-sill, at least in the back pew.” Like his namesake, Eutychus II aims at “deflating ecclesiastical pretense, sham, and present-day religiosity.” This nom de plume will remain a cover for this ecclesiastical sleuth—to maintain his anonymity, and thus his freedom to poke fun. So, don’t miss “Rome’s Biggest Convert.”
Finally Ann MacDonald, who taught English for many years in Maine, offers a very encouraging poem, “Reason for Rejoicing,” based on Isaiah 25:7-8a, “On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever,” from Isaiah’s Little Apocalypse.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “CHURCH CONFLICT and DISCIPLINE”
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.