Proverbial Maturity

541px-Old_and_wise Personal maturity is something that we want to attain, but often we don’t know what it is. It’s easier to name a mature person than it is to explain what makes them mature. Part of the difficulty is that there are different aspects to maturity; social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional maturity can be expressed in different degrees in the same person. Someone can be socially mature and spiritually immature, or intellectually mature and emotionally immature. All maturity is connected, though; true social maturity only comes as spiritual maturity increases. Continue reading

Water, Wine, and Milk

fountainThe following article is a guest contribution by Dale VanDyke, pastor of Harvest Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It was originally part of the sermon preached in the evening service on April 14, 2013, and is published here with the kind permission of the author.

“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” It is the great glory of God that he calls not the righteous but sinners to repentance. Here in this great invitation God calls out to the thirsty. But why are God’s people so thirsty?

Jeremiah 2:13 gives us the answer, as God grieves the tragic choice of his rebellious children: Continue reading

Boston on Bible Reading

Thomas Boston (1676-1732) is one of the great post-Reformation Scottish theologians, well-known for his role in the Marrow controversy, in which he championed the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the all sufficient Savior, offered to everyone. Less known are some of his other writings. Here is an excellent (updated and edited) excerpt on Bible reading:

“To commend the Bible to you, I say these things of it…

1. It is the best of books. Continue reading

God’s Gracious Law

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-11)

Not long ago I heard an evangelical pastor posit that the moral law’s role is to convict of sin towards repentance and faith, but not to enact a positive requirement for Christian living. Continue reading

Gray Hair

If you are reading this with dyed hair, don’t take it personally. I’m not arguing that dying your hair is sinful. I’m just questioning the ubiquitous cultural approach to loss of keratin. Our culture sees it pretty much as 100% bad, especially for women. Not so Scripture. It might help everyone – not least elderly believers – if we looked at gray hair as a good thing.
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Enns’ Clarity and Consistency

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” (Exodus 20:11)

Among confessional Presbyterians (PCA, OPC), particularly in the northern half of the United States, it has long been accepted that varieties or aspects of evolutionary thought may be legitimately held and harmonized with the teaching of Scripture. Roots of this can be traced back to men including Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield, its twentieth century acceptability bolstered by the work of Meredith Kline and others. Expressed ecclesiastically by sanctioning acceptability of multiple views on Genesis 1 and 2 in the OPC and PCA, the line to this point has held at the historicity of Adam and Eve. This status quo continues to have supporters. While this plural stance is formally articulated in these denominations it is most recently defended by my friend, William Evans, in a recent piece at Reformation 21: Perspicuity, Exegetical Populism, and Tolerance.

However, despite the attempts to hold this long approved approach in northern Presbyterianism, the attempt to allow a pre-Adamic merger of the two systems fails when individuals seek to pursue a thorough and carefully logical consistency of thought. Peter Enns stands as the most recent example of this, having come to consistently adapt his hermeneutic to what he views as acceptable and authoritative evolutionary models. Enns’ address of a conference of New York area PCA pastors maps out his take on this, which is ironically similar, though opposite to my own: Talking to Pastors about Adam and Evolution Options. I agree with Enns as to the consistency of his mapping and conclusions, aside from one significant difference: I am convinced he errs fundamentally in his exegetical hermeneutic — error rooted in his submission to, or choice of authority. Historiographical and theoretical scientific interpretations of evidence have primacy over the self-attesting authority of Scripture in Enns’ approach. Rather than Scripture interpreting and assessing reconstructions of historical contexts, reconstructions of historical contexts re-interpret and re-assess Scripture, either through hermeneutic theory or more direct adjustment.

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