What We Believe

February 2009 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Original Sin



Now We Live In Q's World

Original Sin: The Doctrine and Its Implications

Original Sin: A Cultural History

We Become What We Worship

A Prayer

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It may not seem very original, but the topic of original sin has never been covered in OS. While certain particular sins have on occasion been written about, this comprehensive and foundational doctrine is in need of being revived among us. I doubt that there is a single officer in the OPC who denies this cardinal orthodox tenet. But, as we have discovered with the doctrines of the covenants and justification, sometimes what we assume, but rarely preach and teach on, opens the church to imbibing error. In place of the church calendar and prescribed preaching topics, we would do well to comb our Confession and catechism regularly in search of such dangerous omissions. After all, we do ask forgiveness for sins of omission.

Alan Jacobs reminded me of this particular omission by publishing a new and unique book dealing with original sin. Unique because he has written not a systematic theology, nor even historical theology—although he recounts significant portions of doctrinal history—but a cultural history. So engaging is his treatment that he even gains praise from those like Alan Wolfe, who do not believe in the doctrine.

Now we live in Q's world. Who's Q and what does he have to do with original sin? It's all in my editorial. John Fesko expounds the doctrine and its implications for church officers. David VanDrunen whets our appetites for Jacob's book with a concise review. On a related issue Shane Lems reviews Gregory Beale's new book on the biblical doctrine of idolatry.

Finally, I introduce a new feature, Servant Poetry. If you are a lover of the Psalms, especially read aloud, you will not think this feature frivolous. The poems I will choose will not always be explicitly religious. But since everything in God's world is of legitimate interest to us as his image bearers, and since words are the chief tools of preachers, I thought this feature might help you in your craft. Thanks to Roger Wagner for this first submission.

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 endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic 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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