A Journal for Church Officers
Meredith G. Kline’s Family Life
by Meredith M. Kline
Reading Meredith G. Kline: Where to Begin?
by John R. Muether
Commentary on the Book of Discipline of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Chapter 3.1–3
by Alan D. Strange
What Is Essential to the Doctrine of the Church? A Review Article
by Ryan M. McGraw
The Completion of C. S. Lewis by Harry Lee Poe
by Charles Malcolm Wingard
Profound Devotion: A Review Article
by Gregory E. Reynolds
by G. E. Reynolds (1949– )
From the Editor. For four years each fall from 1999 to 2002 Professor Meredith G. Kline taught for ten weeks at The Granite State School of Theology and Missions. He taught essentially everything he had taught throughout his illustrious career at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Westminster Seminary California:
1999 – “Covenant-Kingdom Foundations” (Kingdom Prologue)
2000 – “Old Testament Prophets” (Images of the Spirit)
2001 – “Old Testament Exegesis” (Glory in Our Midst, on Zechariah)
2002 – “Covenant-Kingdom Foundations” (Kingdom Prologue)
Dr. Kline invited me to visit with him each week for fellowship. It was one of the most delightful times of my life. I came to more deeply appreciate his gentle brilliance. His wife Grace came with him each week, so we got to enjoy her quiet gracious presence as well. This personal dimension of Dr. Kline’s life is beautifully described for us in his son Meredith M. Kline’s rich memorial sketch on this one hundredth anniversary of Professor Kline’s birth—“Meredith G. Kline’s Family Life.” This should be read with Meredith’s “Meredith G. Kline: A Biographical Sketch,” in Essential Writings of Meredith G. Kline (2017). Now, fifteen years after his death in 2007, is a worthy time to reflect on Kline’s unique contribution to biblical theology.
John Muether helpfully answers the oft-asked question about Kline’s writings—where should I begin? The various answers of former colleagues and students are illuminating—“Reading Meredith G. Kline: Where to Begin?”
Alan Strange begins Chapter 3 of his commentary on the Book of Discipline, “Steps in the Institution of the Judicial Process.” It reminds me of how wonderful it is to have Presbyterian order. Ardor without order is dangerous, and order without ardor is dead. But care in the judicial process is especially important in protecting all parties, particularly the accused. The process places a premium on taking the time to consider prayerfully the implementation of the biblical procedure which seeks the restoration of the offender, the purity of the church, and the honor of the church’s head, the Lord Jesus Christ. The concept of good order is well suited to our first book review.
The doctrine of the church is certainly the weakest in American ecclesiology. Ryan McGraw, in his review article, “What is Essential to the Doctrine of the Church?” looks at Dustin Benge’s The Loveliest Place: The Beauty and Glory of the Church. Besides the many positive things McGraw has to say, he picks up on a major weakness, Benge’s failure to describe the church as an institution while focusing almost entirely on the organic nature of the church. McGraw incisively enumerates the biblical importance of the church’s organization, the distinction between visible and invisible church, and organic and institutional aspects of her nature. During my ministry I would ask those who denied the institutional nature of the church to imagine a body without a skeleton.
Charles Wingard completes his review of Harry Poe’s three volume biography of C. S. Lewis by reviewing the last volume, The Completion of C. S. Lewis: From War to Joy (1945-1963). This is probably the best biography of Lewis to date, as Wingard declares, “surveying the life of one of the twentieth century’s great writers and formidable Christian apologists.”
I review two wisely constructed devotional anthologies in “Profound Devotion.” Editor Robert Elmer’s latest is Fount of Heaven: Prayers of the Early Church. He also anthologized Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans (2020), which I reviewed in January 2020. Leland Ryken has done it again too with The Heart in Pilgrimage: A Treasury of Classic Devotionals on the Christian Life. His anthology of classic devotional poetry, The Soul in Paraphrase (2018), was reviewed by me in January 2019. He is a master anthologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of devotional poetry and literature.
Our poem this month is a reflection on the Magi of Matthew 2: “Magi Majesty.”
The cover photograph is of the front door of our home in New Hampshire—Chestnut Cottage.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds
FROM THE ARCHIVES “KLINE”
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.
Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds
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