From the Editor. This month we celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of François Turrettini, known to us as Francis Turretin, author of the Institutes of Elenctic Theology, on October 17, 1623. This three volume work was only replaced as the text for systematic theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in the late nineteenth century by Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology (1871). Thanks to the superb editing of the translation of Princeton (College of New Jersey) professor George Musgrave Geiger (1822–65) by James T. Dennison, Jr., Christians and church officers have had access to this important work for three decades.[1] Professor Mark Beach convincingly expands upon the importance of Turretin’s work in “Francis Turretin (1623–1687): A Commemoration and Commendation.”

The printer’s device on the title page of the first edition of Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology reads QVOD TIBI FIERI NON VIS ALTERI NEFECERIS (What you do not wish to happen to yourself, do not do to another). See the title page of my first edition (1688) of the Institutes of Elenctic Theology (Institutio Theologiae Elencticae) here.

I offer chapter 7 of my homiletical work The Voice of the Good Shepherd, “God’s Direct Address: Divine Presence.” In contrast to our device-mediated, electronic environment, I emphasize the importance of the personal presence of the Lord in the preaching moment, the personal presence of the pastor-preacher, and the personal presence of church officers and church members in one another’s lives.

Our series on the tertiary standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church continues with Alan Strange’s penultimate commentary on the Book of Discipline, chapters 7 and 8. David Graves, Brett McNeill, and John Mahaffy tackle the controverted question “Cross-Presbytery Complaints: Does the Book of Discipline Allow a Session to Complain against a Session in Another Presbytery — And Should It?”

An Older Elder offers more advice to younger elder James in “The Ruling Elder among the Flock.” Many sessions read and discuss these letters at their monthly session meetings.

William Edgar reviews the new, and I believe first, biography of Tim Keller: Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation by Collin Hansen. Keller’s ministry is worth careful observation since he ministered in one of the most secular cultures in America: New York City. As an adjunct professor of apologetics, Hansen is especially sensitive to the challenges Keller faced. The idea of intellectual preparation for ministry is one that evangelicals tend to shy away from. In this we are reminded of Machen’s similar emphasis. I first met Tim in New Rochelle in the 1980s. His character and work have grown on me over the years. I hope many of my colleagues will read this biography.

Andy Wilson reviews Michael Horton’s latest, Recovering Our Sanity: How the Fear of God Conquers the Fears that Divide Us. Wilson helpfully explores differing views among us on how to engage our cultural moment.

Our poetry this month is a little unusual. I recently reread Wallace Stevens’s famous poem “Sunday Morning.” It is considered one of the greatest poems in English of the twentieth century. Harold Bloom declared Harmonium, in which “Sunday Morning” appeared, to be the most original début volume of poetry since Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855). “Sunday Morning” was written when Stevens was 36. It is a linguistically rich poem with an existential message about Sunday morning, so true to twentieth century America that I knew. It spurred me on to compose an answer. Stevens’s is eight fifteen-line stanzas; mine is eight twelve-line stanzas. O that Sunday morning would be restored as a day of worship, hope, and joy.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

FROM THE ARCHIVES: “THEOLOGY, SABBATH, APOLOGETICS” (cumulative index available here)

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.


[1] Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, transl. by George Musgrave Giger, James T. Dennison, ed., Jr.; 3 vols. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1992–1997).

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