Saturday, July 13, 2024

Impietism More Widespread and Dangerous than Pietism

I realize that there is a possible danger of becoming so reflective about spiritual things that one does not labor well in this life—to be a soul without a body, here, so to speak. And I understand that there is an introspection that is not spiritual at all, for it dwells little upon the Lord Himself and much upon the labyrinth of one's own thoughts and affections. Yes, there is such a thing as false piety. And it may or may not be helpful to call it "pietism" (aside from the fact that this is a technical term for splinter-movements within Lutheranism).

But I don't think I have ever met such a person. Ours is an age of epidemic, lethal impiety. The visible church is full of those who profess faith but have little thought of God, take little time with Him, make much of the temporal and little of the spiritual. They treat the means of grace as if they have little effect upon real life, spiritual pleasures and blessings as if they are worth much less than temporal. Of such the churches are full. And yet there are many who constantly warn against "pietism" in the churches, warning against too much of an emphasis upon certain habits and realities that actually comprise a necessary and crucial biblical piety. 

So, dear reader, watch out for those who are always railing against "pietism." It may be that they are selling you a soul-destroying impietism, by which you will assure yourself of spiritual life and forgiveness and godliness, where there really is none.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Does the ARP Form of Government Really Give the General Synod the Right to Dissolve a Presbytery?

In my recap of Day 2 of the General Synod, I wrote of the two options that were before us at the time: "(1) General Synod dissolves Second Presbytery (which it has the right to do, for any reason, without process, in the form of government)."

I must clarify, now, and admit that I was simply relaying what we were told on the floor of the General Synod meeting.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

2024 General Synod, Day 3 Recap

Thank you, especially to the brethren of the Hopewell congregation, for the keen interest in how things go with our Lord's church in the ARP, and for giving yourselves to prayer for it. Since these include my own personal observations, I'm posting these summaries here, rather than on the church blog. If you'd like to try to keep up with the General Synod, you can see the Synod materials here, and watch the live streams here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

2024 General Synod, Day 2 Recap

Thank you, especially to the brethren of the Hopewell congregation, for the keen interest in how things go with our Lord's church in the ARP, and for giving yourselves to prayer for it. Since these include my own personal observations, I'm posting these summaries here, rather than on the church blog. If you'd like to try to keep up with the General Synod, you can see the Synod materials here, and watch the live streams here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

2024 General Synod, Day 1 Recap

Thank you, especially to the brethren of the Hopewell congregation, for the keen interest in how things go with our Lord's church in the ARP, and for giving yourselves to prayer for it. Since these include my own personal observations, I'm posting these summaries here, rather than on the church blog. If you'd like to try to keep up with the General Synod, you can see the Synod materials here, and watch the live streams here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

WCF 21.1, Off the Cuff, on the Regulative Principle [a tech-test that was worth keeping]

It was really just a feed-check for new settings on the Hopewell live streaming. But rather than just stand there, I read and explained WCF 21.1 on the Regulative Principle, having just written an article on it for the upcoming edition of the ARP Magazine. Maybe it will be helpful to you.


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Salt, Light, and Social Justice

In the context of Matthew 5:10–12, it is clear that in vv13–16 the Lord having made us to be (not commanding us to become) salt and light means NOT that we should be Christian enough to make a societal difference, but that we should be Christian enough to be persecuted by society. 

Love for neighbor, the power of God, and His pleasure to give revival by the Spirit's use of gospel preaching all agree to form in us a desire to see and participate in societal change. But let us be compelled by appropriate Scripture, and seek it by His means. 

I had been meaning to write this for a while, but finally had time today and was prompted by the following video. It contains helpful historical truth, and near the end identifies a problem with social gospel that it has in common with reconstructionism and liberation theology (each of which misuse this Scripture text):