Church Polity

Guns in Church When I was a pastor, ten years ago, I learned that a married couple, both FBI agents, joined my church. We already had two police officers in attendance, but I welcomed the news in a day when church shootings, like school shootings, were in the news. "It makes me feel safer," one...
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. The...
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...
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. One particular locus of theology where this...
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 5 th generation minister. One might say: “It’s the family business!” or “...
The men whom we mean are seeking not membership in the Church, but a place in the ministry, and they desire not to learn but to teach. … Whether it be desirable or not, the ordination declaration is part of the constitution of the Church. If a man can stand on that platform he may be an officer in...
Contemporary efforts to enrich public worship inevitably emphasize increased “congregational participation”. This may mean employing special music, or returning to set prayers in which congregation has a unison voice, but the desire is to move beyond a feeling of clerical monologue. Others blame...
The Westminster Assembly, which met at the behest the English parliament from 1643-1653, while not properly speaking a church court (i.e., a session/consistery, presbytery/classis, or general assembly/synod), did perform functions which we now rightly associate with the presbytery or classis level...
This week on Theology on the Go, Dr. Jonathan Master is joined by Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn. Dr. VanDixhoorn is Associate Professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington D.C.. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM) and the University of Cambridge (...
The work of the Westminster Assembly (1643-1653) in London, England involved the furtherance of the gains of the Protestant Reformation in the domains of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Called by Parliament amidst a civil war between parliament and the king (Charles I), the Westminster Assembly was...

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