The Biblical Basis of Man-Made Liturgy

The Biblical Basis of Man-Made Liturgy

Is a Christian free to worship God however he pleases? I think all of us would intuitively answer “No” to that question. Man’s duty to worship God is too important to just be a free-for-all. This is especially true for Christians who have God’s Revelation, particularly the Bible. The Confessional Reformed tradition (rightly) understands that man is not only not free to worship however he pleases (since this would ultimately tend towards...

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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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Some Answers to Questions about the Leithart Trial

As you can imagine, responding to every comment and charge I have received is not possible, but I hope to clarify some things in the days and weeks ahead. One of the questions that keeps arising is how to understand my resignation in light of the Leithart trial. I’ll do my best to explain my own thinking in this regard. Most of you who have followed the PCA’s Federal Vision issues know the basic timeline with respect to Leithart...

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Setting the Reformed Record Straight

The discussion over at Called to Communion on the post titled “How John Calvin Made Me a Catholic” has recently turned to the supposed absence of the notion of inward renewal and the need for practical holiness in Reformed thought. One commenter wrote: [Contrary to what Reformed theology teaches], salvation must be a real deliverance from the power of sin and death and transformation in the Spirit. If it is not, then I will take my Hell...

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Catholicity and Liberalism

I had the privilege of attending Westminster Seminary California’s annual conference this past week, the topic of which was J. Gresham Machen and “Christianity and Liberalism Revisited.” The speaker I was most anxious to hear was D.G. Hart since he has dedicated so much of his professional life to studying and writing about Machen. Hart’s lecture was called “The Perennial Problem with Machen,” and his thesis was that Machen’s...

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The Paradox of Heavily-Guarded Freedom

I was having a conversation about the early church fathers on Sunday night at church, and it struck me once again how that one of the reasons that the term homoousios was insisted upon to define the Trinity was that there was no way the Arians could affirm it. In other words, the goal of the early ecumenical councils was not just to define orthodoxy in a loose enough way so that as many people as possible could affirm its tenets, but in a strict...

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