May 2024 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Planned Giving

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From the Editor. There has always been a debate about giving in the new covenant: Is the tithe, ten percent, the rule for the Christian? I used to defend the tithe, for fear that without it giving would be anemic and not support the ministry of the local, regional, and national churches. I was a church planter much of my ministerial life. I have come to realize that, while ten percent might be a useful rule-of-thumb, our generosity ought to be an appropriate response to the overwhelming generosity of our King: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).

Alan Strange lays out the general importance of financial generosity in order to form the groundwork for our end-of-life giving in estate planning. His article, “Planned Giving as a Christian Duty,” is a biblical encouragement toward that generosity.

My Servant Thoughts this month deal with the red-letter versions of the Bible. Is there a downside? “Seeing Red” argues that red letters for Christ’s incarnate words only tends unwittingly to undermine the authority of what is in black letters.

The fourteenth of sixteen chapters of The Voice of the Good Shepherd covers general preparation of preaching and ministry: “Develop Your Whole Person.” This chapter expounds the implications of the Form of Government requirement that ministers have a liberal arts undergraduate degree, which is an integral part of their preparation for the ministry.

D. Scott Meadows’s review article, “Chrysostom on the Ministry,” reviews a fascinating early work on Christian ministry by the golden tongued St. John Chrysostom: Six Books on the Priesthood. It is remarkably relevant because the human situation has not fundamentally changed since Chrysostom’s day.

David Koenig reviews Spiritual Warfare for the Care of Souls by Harold Ristau. On rare occasions if I think a book is widely circulated among us but is not helpful, or perhaps even dangerous, I will have it reviewed. Lexham Press, while Lutheran in confession, has published many Reformed books over the past decade. This Ristau volume is in the “not helpful” category, because of his speculative assertions in some areas of his discussion of pastoral care.

Our poetry this month is a piece of mine based on Baroque composer Dieterich  Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, composed in 1680. Instead of focusing on the broad narrative of the events leading to the cross, this is a cycle of seven cantatas, each addressing a part of Jesus’s crucified body as he suffered on the cross: feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heart, and face.

The cover is a gladiola from my garden.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


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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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Telephone: 603-668-3069

Electronic mail: reynolds.1@opc.org

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