Monday, September 25, 2017

6 September 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 21:56
This news item was posted in Presbyterians Week category.
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“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]

 

 

Presbyterians Week Headlines

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[1] 2017 issue of The Confessional Presbyterian Scheduled for Release in October

[2] PCA’s Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri to Host Leftist Leadership Development Resource Weekend

[3] Presbyterians [PCUSA] to Host Symposium on LGBTQ Refugees and Asylum Seekers

[4] ARPTalk 143 – Four Proposals

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[1] 2017 issue of The Confessional Presbyterian Scheduled for Release in October

The 2017 13th issue of The Confessional Presbyterian journal is scheduled to be ready for mailing in October. The opening editorial and contents are reproduced below. Subscriptions are available at:

http://www.cpjournal.com/store/products-list/the-confessional-presbyterian-volume-13-2017-forthcoming-sept-1-2017/

From the Editors: When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg 500 years ago, his concerns were clearly soteriological. He brought into question the Pope’s right to remit sins and the ability of indulgences to spring sinful souls from the coffers of purgatory. But his soteriological concerns did not impact just one or a few loci of Christian theology. But they would impact ultimately—and most importantly—liturgical concerns as well. In fact, it is quite impossible to separate Christian doctrine from Christian worship and still be a responsible theologian.

Hughes Oliphint Old, who has just last year passed into his eternal rest, can be credited with having brought renewed awareness of the reform of worship during the time of the Reformation. It may be said that the Reformed branch of the Reformation is responsible for having consistently applied the principles of the Reformation to the area of Christian worship. Dr. Old’s scholarship has shown how the Reformers explored the depths of the ancient church for insight into the nature of New Testament worship. We have a whole new generation of Reformed liturgists now, thanks to the labors of Dr. Old, who are seeking to continue the process of uncovering treasures from the past for rendering the church’s worship today to be more in keeping with the touchstone of Holy Scripture.

For this reason we feature Dr. Old on this year’s cover. We kick off the issue with an original piece by Old on prayer in Strasbourg in the early 16th century, followed by a brief biography of his life and work by his widow, Mary McCraw Old. Dr. Old’s student and friend, Glen Clary, offers a contribution which advances Old’s scholarly legacy on how the Reformed looked to Patristic worship for guiding it in biblical worship. Terry Johnson continues the theme of worship in articulating what a true worship leader is. This part of the articles section is then followed up with a very practical and insightful section containing studies on various 16th century Reformed reformers: Calvin, Bucer, and Oecolampadius. In a day with much confusion about the doctrine of the immanent Trinity, Jim Cassidy provides a piece on the significance of Augustine’s doctrine of the Trinity for today. That is followed by a study on social reform in the RPCNA by Joel Hart. The theme of Calvin’s contribution to the Reformation of worship resumes with contributions by Everett Henes and Timothy Gwin. Our articles section is finally closed out with two essays on Reformed piety, including one by Richard Barcellos on the Sabbath and the other by Nick Willborn on family worship.

As for the rest of this issue, Reviews & Responses presents a number of reviews in a nearly thirty pages section (see titles below), which we trust will be of interest. The issue closes out with our regular recurring departments. In Psallo, Todd Ruddell presents a rendering of Psalm 87. In Antiquary Chris Coldwell and Matthew Vogan present background and details on the exciting discovery of manuscripts spread across several institutions, containing 228 sermons on the Book of Song of Solomon. These sermons were preached in 1651–1654 by James Durham (1623–1658) at the beginning of his ministry in the Glasgow cathedral Kirk. For In Translati?ne, we continue our custom of presenting short to medium length first time translations into English of material of interest to Confessional Presbyterians. This year’s entry is a translation by David C. Noe of two important letters which John Calvin wrote to the ministers of the Reformed church in Montbéliard. The church there was facing the forced imposition of Lutheran worship practices by the civil authorities, including the reinstitution of a number of the old holy days of the church calendar which that church had rejected at its founding. A helpful background introduction covering Calvin’s view of such observances is provided by Chris Coldwell.

Worship is the most important thing a Christian does. If the Reformation was only about reforming our doctrine of justification—as absolutely important as that is—then the Reformation would only have been a whiff rather than a raging firestorm that spread through Europe and beyond, changing the world forever. But Dr. Old has taught us that real and abiding significance of the Reformation takes place in our worship services. In a day and age of fog machines, praise bands and offertory ballet performances, that is no insignificant thing. For these reasons, the editors of The Confessional Presbyterian journal are happy to present this issue in honor of 500 years of being Reformed according to the Scriptures.

The Editors–

Articles

  1. Daily Prayer in the Reformed Church Of Strasbourg, 1525–1530. By Hughes Oliphant Old
  2. Hughes Oliphant Old. By Mary McCaw Old
  3. According to the Custom of the Ancient Church: Recovering the Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship. By Glen J. Clary
  4. Those Who Lead Worship. By Terry L. Johnson
  5. Calvin the Pastor. By Ian Hamilton
  6. John Calvin’s Pastoral Theology: An Explanatory Outline. By Marcus J. Serven
  7. John Calvin on the Fall and the Imago Dei. By Barry Waugh
  8. Martin Bucer’s Eucharistic Development. By Brian H. Nicholson
  9. Johannes Oecolampadius: Exposition of Isaiah 53. By Diane Poythress
  10. Secundum Substantiam and Relatiuum in Augustine’s De Trinitate: Getting the Trinity Right Then and Now. By James J. Cassidy
  11. The Doctrine and Practice of Social Reform in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America: 1930–1945. By Joel Hart
  12. Less Outward Glory: An Examination of Calvin’s Reformation of Worship. By Everett A. Henes
  13. Let the Families of the Lord Give Praise! Calvin’s Piety of the Psalms as Prayer-Praise Generational Discipleship. By Timothy J. Gwin
  14. “A Sabbath rest for the people of God”: An Exegetical Study of Hebrews 4:9–10. By Richard C. Barcellos
  15. Family Religion: Adoption in the Reformation Tradition: An Essential Element of the Gospel Message. By C. N. Willborn

167 Reviews & Responses: Ottomar Cypris, Martin Bucer’s Ground and Reason: A Commentary and Translation (Walter L. Taylor)?167?–?Matthew Barrett (ed.), Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary (Harrison Perkins)?171?–?Geerhardus Vos, Reformed Dogmatics, 5 volumes (Lane Keister)?174?–?Frank J. Smith (ed.), Religion and Politics in America: An Encyclopedia of Church and State in American Life (Benjamin P. Glaser)?179?–?Jonathan Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, and Scientific Commentary on Genesis 1–11 (Wes Bredenhof)?181?–?John Witte, Jr. and Robert M. Kingdon, Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva: Volume 1, Courtship, Engagement, and Marriage (Frank J. Smith)?183?–?Doug J. Douma, The Presbyterian Philosopher: The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark (Wayne Sparkman) — Chad B. Van Dixhoorn, God’s Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Reformation of the English Pulpit, 1643–1653 (Jeffrey C. Waddington) —

Psallo: Psalm 87:1–7

In Translati?ne: John Calvin’s Letters to the Ministers of Montbéliard (1543–1544): The Genevan Reformer’s Advice and Views of the Liturgical Calendar Antiquary: The James Durham MS III: James Durham’s 228 Sermons on Song of Solomon 2–8

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The Confessional Presbyterian, Post Office Box 141084, DallasTexas 75214

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[2] PCA’s Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri to Host Leftist Leadership Development Resource Weekend

A 3 September 2017 The Tennessee Star article by Wendy Wilson titled “Conservative Presbyterian Seminary in St. Louis to Hold Conference Featuring Leftist Teachings on Race” reports that the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)’s Covenant Theological Seminary on 1-2 September 2017 is hosting the Leadership Development Resource Weekend “organized mostly by African Americans who are asking white attendees to recognize that their participation “means hearing, repenting and listening more than you speak.””

Whites attendees are expected to attend a one-hour seminar for “intensive training in anti-racism,” according to guidance for whites on the conference website.

The conference website includes a letter from Joel Littlepage, a white North Carolina pastor, to his “white brothers and sisters” in which he explains, “For whites, our position as majority-culture citizens of America grants us privilege and safety that people of color are not afforded. It is good and wise that we have time together, as white people, to have honest discussion and explore the ways that we can expose our own biases and be effective in the fight for racial justice.”

The 2016 conference director was Michelle Higgins, a Black Lives Matter activist who told Religion News Service that “the decentralized movement of Black Lives Matter allows local pastors or local groups to use the phrase to mean all black people are despised systemically in such a way that our country does not hesitate to refuse them proper health care, quality education or fairness in the face of potential arrest.”

Ms. Wilson points out that the PCA 2016 General Assembly chose as moderator Alexander Jun, a progressive academic and co-author of a new book titled White Out: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age.

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The Tennessee Star, 2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 103-538, FranklinTennessee 37067, 615-538-8526, editor@tennesseestar.com

Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, LawrencevilleGeorgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org

Covenant Theological Seminary, 12330 Conway Road, St. LouisMissouri  63141, 314-434-4044, Fax: 314-434-4819, president@covenantseminary.edu

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[3] Presbyterians [PCUSA] to Host Symposium on LGBTQ Refugees and Asylum Seekers

LOUISVILLE – First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York is hosting a two-day symposium on the challenges facing LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. The church, working alongside several ministries within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will host the gathering entitled “Love Welcome” on Oct. 20–21.

“The symposium will help equip congregations and pastors who wish to be in ministry with LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers and help them understand all of the complex systems they go through,” said Susan Krehbiel, catalyst for Refugees and Asylum with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “This also gives attendees the opportunity to talk with each other about what this ministry looks like.”

The 221st (2014) General Assembly of the PC(USA) adopted a resolution entitled “the Global Crisis for LGBT People and their Families: A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Response.” The resolution acknowledges that homosexuality is illegal in 81 countries as well as the persecution that people are facing around the world.

“The conference began as a conversation we had with First Presbyterian Church, and as we talked, we began discussing how this issue intersects with so many ministries within the national church including PDA, the Office of Immigration Issues and Office of Public Witness,” said Ryan Smith, director of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. “I think the church has spoken very clearly on the need to take action in support of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers and this conference is one way to do that.”

Krehbiel says the persecution doesn’t end when the refugees cross U.S. borders.

“We have found that LGBT persons are at much higher risk of violence in detention centers, not only by guards and detention employees, but also from other detainees,” said Krehbiel. “We’ve heard where some individuals have been placed in solitary confinement for their own protection. The risk of being traumatized is all the higher because not everyone is so welcoming and accepting.”

The symposium will include panel discussions on specific needs of the LGBT community currently in detention as well as testimonials from individuals who have faced persecution in their own countries.

“We’ll also look at physical and mental health challenges and the PC(USA)’s response nationally and globally,” said Smith. “It is important for pastors and congregational leaders to be aware of all of the challenges faced both here and abroad.”

“We are thankful for the leadership of First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York for hosting as well as being the lead organizer of this event,” said Krehbiel. “This kind of event offers a good opportunity for us to engage at the congregational level. Our plan is to use the conference to produce new resources so that those who can’t attend will have new tools that will be useful in ministering to the needs of LGBT persons.”

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In addition to First Presbyterian Church, the symposium is sponsored by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Office of Public Witness, Office of Immigration Issues, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and More Light Presbyterians. Participating organizations include the Organization for Refugee, Asylum and Migration (ORAM), Brooklyn Community Pride Center and International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).  The registration cost is $50.

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Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, LouisvilleKentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005

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[4] ARPTalk 143 – Four Proposals

By Chuck Wilson

Emblematic of the failure of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to thrive and grow in a significant manner in the last 40 years is Erskine College and Seminary.

For more than forty years, I have watched and asked, Why? Why have we not experienced significant growth? Why has God withheld His blessing from both the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and Erskine?

For me at seventy-one, the answer is proverbially “a day late and a dollar short.” My analysis is complex and multifaceted; nevertheless, there is one aspect which is a common thread impacting all parts of the story. It is the point I will emphasize: Associate Reformed Presbyterians are uncertain of our brand.

For more than forty years, this has been the mantra at Erskine: “WE NEED TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY.” Publicly, we have written and talked about our evangelical, Reformed, and Associate Reformed Presbyterian heritage, but it was window-dressing, and we did not take it seriously. At Erskine, we attempted to be everything to everybody and expected everyone to embrace us. Few did! Few were satisfied with a bag of musty air. Sad to say, the folks at Erskine were unwilling to be identified as Associate Reformed Presbyterian.

For more than forty years, this has also been the mantra of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. We have often asked, “How can we be Associate Reformed Presbyterians without saying we are Associate Reformed Presbyterian? Don’t you know the present generation hates labels? How can we present ourselves as everything to everybody, offending none, so that everyone comes to us?” Some other ways to put it: (1) How can we be Christian without offending anyone? (2) How can we be Reformed without being distinctive? (3) How can we evangelize without saying Jesus is the only Savior of sinners? and (4) How can we point people to Christ without going to people?

Attempting to be everything to everybody, we discovered few wanted a bag of musty air.

Mulling over our predicament, I have four proposals.

First Proposal – Revisioning Ordination of Ministers

My first proposal involves our presbyteries and how we ordain men to ministry.

When we examine a candidate for ordination, the examination is a pro forma exercise in theological studies. We are interested in the books the man has read. That is, has he learned the pronunciation of the sacred shibboleths? Now, let no one say I am non-theological or anti-intellectual. Indeed, I have a reputation for being theologically and intellectually demanding. I expect a candidate for the ministry to be well-read and conversant in our theology. However, as one who has spent a lifetime as a church planter, pastor, and pastor-theologian, I wonder why we are often remiss to ask questions like these: (1) On a regular basis, do you make opportunities to engage people in conversations on how to become a Christian? (2) Have you ever been blessed to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Christ (and, if so, share the story with us!)? (3) As an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, how do you expect to advance our brand of Associate Reformed Presbyterianism? and (4) If you have never actively engaged in the activities of evangelism or thought about advancing the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, what makes you think you want to be a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church?

In the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (as is the case with all other Presbyterian denominations of which I am acquainted), the path to minister status involves three steps: candidate, licentiate, and minister. A candidate is one who is “under care” of his presbytery as he completes formal studies (usually seminary). A licentiate is one who has undergone and successfully passed an examination and been authorized to preach. Obviously, the next step is ordination which means an individual has successfully completed his formal studies, successfully passed the presbytery’s exams, and has a call to a congregation (or a work approved by the presbytery).

In the past, there was distance between licensure and ordination. Today, in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, licensure and ordination usually occur simultaneously.

I propose we think out-of-the-box. I propose we return to the past when licensure and ordination were distinct. I propose candidates be (1) given specific training in church planting, (2) licensed to preach, and (3) authorized to go to a community for the purpose of gathering and organizing a congregation. I propose a New Testament model. The presbytery in Jerusalem sent Paul and Barnabas out to preach and plant congregations.

Well, why not do this? According to missiologists, ours is a post-Christian era which is similar to the pre-Christian era of the Apostolic Church. Should not the model of Acts inform us how we do church? The traditional idea of preparing pastors to maintain existing congregations is a formula for decline and death. We have bought into and practiced this model of Nineteenth Century  American evangelical churchism, and we are declining and dying in this post-Christian era. And this predicament is not unique to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church; it is Presbyterianism in general in the United States as I view the landscape.

Our seminaries today turn out men who are in love with books, theology, and the past. We need men who are in love with Christ and His Church. We need men who long to see the resurgence of the Church in our day. We need men who are prepared to give their lives in gathering congregations and advancing the brand under which we fly — the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

The ministry is not easy! I do not think it is meant to be easy! A man, after he has been licensed and commissioned by his presbytery, should be sent out to gather a congregation and return to his presbytery with a congregation as evidence of his calling, his fitness, and need to be ordained. We are stuck in the rut of Nineteenth Century maintenance instead of New Testament vision and optimism.

A New Testament model gathers and advances the church of the Lord Jesus and extends the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to new places. Some will complain this is a drastic and unreasonable model. Well, of course! Have you not noticed that legitimate Christianity is hard and the claims of Christ on one’s life are unreasonable?

I am weary of hearing the following story. “Pastor Jim is a good man. He’s a good preacher. He has a beautiful family. But, Chuck, what was he taught in seminary? He thinks his work as a pastor is preaching on Sunday, doing a bulletin, and sitting in his office reading books and waiting for people to come to him. He will visit our people in the hospital, and he will visit us occasionally, but he doesn’t know how to reach out to unchurched people.”

The model I propose is radical and upsetting to the status quo. However, the neo-pagan culture in which we live calls for a thorough shift in our understanding of ministry. The ministry is not for the soft, the lazy, the mediocre, and the uncertain. If a candidate is not prepared to have his work consume his life, he needs to find another line of work. If he is not prepared to pour himself into advancing the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, he needs another vocation. In the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, we need bold, brave, and aggressive men for the ministry. Men who are willing to live and work apostolically in gathering congregations and promoting the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Those unwilling to live such a ministry do not need to apply!

Corollary

A corollary to the above goes like this: many of us are apologetic for our brand.

Years ago when I worked for Goodyear in Florida, my store sold General Electric and Westinghouse appliances and other miscellaneous items; however my main task (and the task by which I was measured) was selling Goodyear tires. Goodyear was our brand. I was a Goodyear man.

Immediately, I bought and mounted a set of Goodyear tires on my wife’s car and a set for my car. When I worked for Goodyear, I rode on Goodyear rubber with the word “Goodyear” etched in large and bold white letters on the sidewalls.

Goodyear wanted me to know who our competitors were, so I was sent to seminars where I learned about our competitors’ tires in order for me to inform my customers why Goodyear tires were a significantly better buy.

In those days, I lived, breathed, and ate Goodyear tires. I did very well. Because of my savings while at Goodyear, I was able to attend seminary without much financial worry.

I never apologized for Goodyear tires! They were the best! I knew they were the best tires on the road, and I only sold the best!

I have spent my ministry in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. I am not a legacy Associate Reformed Presbyterian. After searching, I became an Associate Reformed Presbyterian by choice; I could not find a better Presbyterian denomination. In active ministry, I lived, breathed, ate, promoted, and advanced the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and nothing has changed.

Are there other evangelical Christian denomination? Of course! However, I am not what they are; I am Associate Reformed Presbyterian — and Associate Reformed Presbyterian is my brand.

Too many of us have an inferiority complex denominationally. Too many apologize because we are small. Too many apologize because we are too conservative. Too many apologize because we once drifted left theologically. Too many apologize because our “Associate Reformed” name is confusing to some who are new to us. Too many apologize because we are not like the “bells and whistles” church down the road.

What is the matter with those who apologize? Did they not know who we are when they came to us? Are they not convinced Associate Reformed Presbyterian is their brand? Did they come to us just for a job and with no intentions of embracing our brand and promoting it? Well, to those who come to us looking for a job: we are looking for those who desire to embrace a vision, so don’t apply!

I am reminded of something I heard a retired Marine say: “we Marines don’t worry about what we don’t have; we get the job done with what we do have!”

Like the retired Marine says: don’t tell me what you don’t have to get the job done; use what you have and get the job done!

Second Proposal – Reviewing Church Attendance in Greenville

Denominational administrators living in Greenville should be expected by their respective boards to support an Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregation in the greater Greenville area with their attendance when they are not out-of-town conducting business. If the members of Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregations provide the funds which support the salaries of our denominational administrators, it is not too much for them to support our brand. They do not work for the PCA, the Baptists, or any other church group; they are employed to advance the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in all aspects of their lives. If they cannot do this, they should seek other employment.

Now, before someone claims my proposal is unreasonable, I am not referring to secretaries and janitors. I am speaking of key personnel who are entrusted with our identity. If they do not embrace our brand in their local church life, how can they advance our identity nationally?

I am aware the number of Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregations in the Greenville area is not large. I also know needs vary in families. I am not unsympathetic to those with extenuating circumstances. However, as a general rule, it is not too much to expect denominational executives to support a congregation of the denomination of which they are employed.

If one cannot find an existing congregation where he and his family are comfortable, let me suggest an option: the population of greater Greenville is large and growing at over 6000 people per month. I do not think anyone is going to complain Greenville is overly represented with Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregations. If one is not satisfied with the present options, let him get busy and advance our brand by planting a new congregation. I am willing to bet Second Presbytery is prepared to support such an effort!

Third Proposal – Promoting Brand Loyalty at Erskine

Because the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and Erskine College and Seminary are closely connected, in the future, Erskine must promote the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Only a fully orbed embracing of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church fulfills the mission.

Now, before someone complains, I am not advocating a church-test for cooks, janitors, secretaries, yard-care employees, and the like!

However, why would we employ administrators and professors who are not Associate Reformed Presbyterian or who are unwilling to become Associate Reformed Presbyterian? How does such a practice further the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church?

Some will complain that if we took such a stance we would not be able to find qualified people to fill positions. Listen, there are more PhDs today than there are laboratory rats!

Part of the reason for the nearly seventy year conflict between Erskine and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is the unwillingness of Erskine to fully embrace the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the unwillingness of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to demand that Erskine embrace the brand of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

We have falsely bought the notion Erskine College is only about undergraduate education for everyone and anyone, and we must become all things to all people.

We have falsely bought the notion Erskine Seminary is only about seminary education for everyone and anyone, and we must become all thing to all people.

Institutionally, we have falsely bought the notion Erskine is about providing jobs for professional academics — and any ole PhD will do.

Erskine, as the educational agency of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, is about the vision of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian in undergraduate and seminary education. Those students (Associate Reformed Presbyterians and non-Associate Reformed Presbyterians) who want to join us in our vision and values are welcome. Those administrators and professors who are willing to embrace our vision and values and join us as Associate Reformed Presbyterians in advancing our mission are also welcome.

It is time for us to cease being a haven for the theological liberals, the philosophical nincompoops, and the academic mediocre who only want a job, despise our vision, loathe the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and refuse to be one of us. We have tolerated behavior which has not promoted our brand, and it is time we ceased doing that which hinders our brand in Due West.

Fourth Proposal – Taking Associate Reformed Presbyterianism to the World

My fourth proposal asks a question: what is wrong with being Associate Reformed Presbyterian?

In the past, Presbyterian denominations have successfully planted Presbyterianism throughout the world in missionary endeavors. I highlight a few of our successes: (1) the old Northern Presbyterians, the PCUS, and Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Mexico; (2) the old PCUS in Brazil; (3) the Church of Scotland in Kenya; (4) the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Malawi; (5) the old Northern Presbyterian Church and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Korea; (6) various Presbyterian denominations in India, and (7) the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Pakistan.

Today, I do not see this taking place in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Why are we no longer focusing on advancing our brand in our missionary endeavors?

Why do we ask Associate Reformed Presbyterians to support brands other than ours? If our brand is worthy of advancing in the United States and Canada, why is our brand not worthy of planting in other locations today? If it is not appropriate to plant Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregations in places of missionary effort, why do we keep our brand here?

As an Associate Reformed Presbyterian, I am interested in advancing one brand: the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (throughout the United States and around the world). Certainly, I do not think the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is the only Christian denomination, but Associate Reformed Presbyterian is the banner under which I lived and worked as a Christian minister, and it is the brand I intend to support.

Concluding Comments

Obviously, I am aware my proposals are controversial and, in some aspects, stringent. They are intended to provoke thought and discussion.

Obviously, I am also aware I have taken aim at sacred cows. However, what we have done in the past has failed and is continuing to fail, and we all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. What do you propose?

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ARPTalk Blog, 864-882-6337, wilson6114@bellsouth.net

Erskine College and Theological Seminary, 2 Washington Street, Due WestSouth Carolina 29639, 864-379-2131, Fax: 864-379-2167, jguyette@erskine.edu

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 918 South Pleasantburg Drive Suite 127, GreenvilleSouth Carolina 29607, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

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