December 2009 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Elder Visitation



The Importance of Home Visitation

Concerning the True Care of Souls

Francis Schaeffer: Reformed Fundamentalist? A Review Article

Remembering Robert

Response to the Review of Calvin's Doctrine of the State

A Child in a Foul Stable

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From the Editor. As we stand on the threshold of a new year of ministry together I am happy to present an excellent "summing up" from the former editor of OS, G. I. Williamson, on one of his favorite subjects: the importance of elder visitation. The length of the list of articles on this topic under his editorship is a testimony to the importance he attached to this topic. This guest editorial recapitulates his concern nicely. The visitation of church officers is a ramification of the great visitation of the Son of God to human history. Our personal presence in the lives of our congregations is especially poignant in a culture so isolated by electronic media.

Pastor Shishko reviews "The Protestant Reformation's original handbook of pastoral theology," Bucer's The True Care of Souls (1538).

I review what I consider the most significant evaluation of Francis Schaeffer's ministry and thought to date: Barry Hankins, Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America.

Also in this issue Mark Larson responds to Richard Gamble's review of Larson's recent book Calvin's Doctrine of the State. It is my policy to publish such responses if I think them substantive, and to give the original writer of an article or review the last word in the form of a rejoinder. In this case Richard Gamble felt his original review was adequate to state his opinion succinctly. "Any thorough response to Larson would take me deep into fundamental disagreements with him about theology, political theology, and what counts as sound historical reasoning. I would have to write a book to explain myself adequately."

Finally, Servant Poetry features a Chesterton offering on the Incarnation.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

From the Archives: "VISITATION"


  • "Eighteen Reasons for Elders to Do Home Visitation." 13:4 (Oct. 2004): 92.
  • "Elder to Elder: How Important Is Faithful Family Visitation?" (Dick G. Vanderpyl) 8:2 (Mar. 1999): 32-35.
  • "Elder to Elder: Home Visitation and Family Devotions." (David Winslow) 8:1 (Jan. 1999): 19-20.
  • "Elder to Elder: A Sample Sessional Calling Record." (David Winslow) 7:2 (Apr. 1998): 29-31.
  • "Elder to Elder: Start those Home Visits Now!" (David Winslow) 7:1 (Jan. 1998): 20-21.
  • "Elders in Pastoral Visitation." (Tim Worrell) 6:3 (Jul. 1997): 71.
  • "How to Get Started." (G. I. Williamson) 1:1 (Jan. 1992): 5-7.
  • "The Ingredients of a Successful Oversight Program." (T. Nathan Trice) 10:3 (Jul. 2001): 46-50.
  • "On Doing Home Visitation." (C. Eric Fennema) 7:2 (Apr. 1998): 32-34.
  • "A Reformed Perspective on Home Visitation." (Mark James Larson) 4:2 (Apr. 1995): 37-38.
  • "Specific Help for Elder Visiting." (John R. Sittema) 5:2 (Apr. 1996): 28-30.
  • "Visiting the Members." (Archibald A. Allison) 10:2 (Apr. 2001): 27-30.
  • "On Being Connected." (Gregory E. Reynolds) 15:3 (Mar. 2006)
  • "Ordained Servants: The Ruling Elder." (Gregory E. Reynolds) 16:1 (Jan. 2007)
  • "Tools for the Elder's Tool Box." (Bill Shishko) 16:1 (Jan. 2007)

See also Taking Heed to the Flock. Peter Y. De Jong. Christian Education Committee of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 81 pages, paper. This was reviewed by Bill Shishko in January 2007 OS Online.

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.

Publication Information

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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