Invisible Church Discipline

Invisible Church Discipline

To wrap up the “mini-series” that began with the Reformed view of Infant Baptism and the New Covenant, followed by a look at the Reformed distinction of the Invisible vs Visible Church, I’d like to conclude by taking a brief look at the place of “church discipline” within Reformed ecclesiology. To keep things brief, I will focus specifically on the notion of “excommunication” and whether or not it makes...

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Stuff I Don’t Like That Much: Catholicism Edition

Stuff I Don’t Like That Much: Catholicism Edition

D.G. Hart, this one’s for you. . . . Most of you won’t know this, but Darryl and I kind of used to be pals (in a professor/student kind of way, of course). He was my faculty advisor at Westminster, and he oversaw my work on a directed research project examining Calvin and Edwards on the issue of assurance (a project for which I not only earned an A, but which Darryl described as an “impressive study” [hey, turns out that...

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What “Difference” Does the “Vowel Make”?

What “Difference” Does the “Vowel Make”?

As many of you surely know, the Reformed distinguish themselves from evangelicals on the issue of the relationship between Scripture and the church by highlighting the all-importance of a single vowel. “We are not like those Bible-only, no-creed-but-Christ evangelicals,” we hear. “On the contrary, we believe in the genuine authority of the church — but that authority is derivative and penultimate, always secondary to our...

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Crack That Whip!

Crack That Whip!

A common objection on the part of some Protestants toward the Catholic Church goes something like this: “You Catholics claim that your church has all this divinely-bestowed authority, and yet you never bother to wield it. Instead, you just let all these heretics and deviants run around teaching and living however they want with total impugnity.” The objector then points out that such would never be the case in his church, but the...

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And the Verdict Is. . . .

And the Verdict Is. . . .

The Standing Judicial Commission of the PCA — which is the denomination’s highest court — finally reached its verdict in the case against Pastor Peter Leithart (a case that has been ongoing since 2007, and which I prosecuted personally in the Pacific Northwest Presbytery). Although I do  know what their ruling was, I will refrain from divulging it until the SJC issues its Report and reasons for their decision. The Westminster...

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