Church Polity

Theological error and heresy constantly plagued the church during the life of the Apostle Paul, so it is no surprise that his final instructions to Timothy contain essential counsel on the right way to address error and heresy
A few weeks ago the session on which I serve was interviewing some young teenage girls for communicant membership in the church. When a child in the congregation I serve approaches me about making their profession of faith before the session I ask them two questions. First, I ask to hear their...
In a 1986 speech President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I'm here to help.’” A lot of Americans appreciated Reagan’s humorous point because sometimes government does more to harm than to help. Many Americans, however,...
It is never easy to watch someone walk away from their profession of faith in Christ. It is never easy to go through the disciplinary process which may culminate in excommunication. It’s never easy and it is always painful. And when one and likely both of these things happen you can’t help but...
One leader thought men should bring guns to church to deter a deranged man from shooting up a church: "He won't come if he knows the men are packing." This idea divides people. One sees realistic masculinity, another thinks guns have little to do with Christianity. Who is right?
Christians have a remarkable ability to skew what the Bible’s teaches about the church. As with so many things in life, we tend to perceive and define it with ourselves as the key reference point. But when this happens it distorts both our understanding and our enjoyment of whatever is in view.
Just recently I had the opportunity to worship in the church in which I grew up. It is Episcopalian and for the first time in a very long time I found myself following the order of the Book of Common Prayer. It was one of the more recent editions of the Prayer Book; but, nevertheless, the shape and...
It is a very human trait, one from which even theologians are not immune: the tendency to make ourselves the default reference point for everything. We do it without realising it, because it is built into our subconscious. But it happens nonetheless.
Joel Wood
I could take you to the exact spot where, while rolling down the road in our two-tone brown, 1984 Chevy Cavalier, I shyly said: “Dad, I think I’m being called into the ministry.” If you count both streams of my family, I’m a 5th generation minister. One might say: “It’s the family business!” or “It...
Twenty-five years ago, my dad was preparing for his ordination exam to be a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America. In order to be ordained as a pastor in the PCA (or other NAPARC churches), a man must pass a thorough examination by the men of the presbytery. As part of his preparation, he...