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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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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Luther, Barth, and Mathison: Good? Driscoll, Piper, and Covenant Seminary: Bad?

Don’t get me wrong, Christian Smith’s new book against biblicism, The Bible Made Impossible, is very good. It’s just a bit confusing at times. As I noted in my last post, Smith defines “biblicism” quite broadly (a bit too broadly for my taste), and then seeks to demonstrate how it cannot work as a system, but collapses under its own weight. When you get to the second part of the book, Smith moves from diagnosis to prescription, and...

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Wheaton’s Neat, But Rome is Older

Called to Communion has published an interesting article about Reformation Day, in which Carl Trueman’s review of Noll and Nystrom’s Is the Reformation Over? is cited approvingly. Trueman writes: Every year I tell my Reformation history class that Roman Catholicism is, at least in the West, the default position. Rome has a better claim to historical continuity and institutional unity than any Protestant denomination, let alone the strange...

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Why Anne Rice Thinks That We’re Not Nice

As many of you know, Anne Rice was writing about vampires long before Buffy, Bella, and Sookie Stackhouse were household names, and many followed with interest her conversion to Christianity back in 2005. Well, it looks like Ms. Rice’s days as a churchgoer are pretty much over…. She announced on Facebook that: I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply...

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On Relevance, Part 3: Aging Hipsters and Cultural Racists

Our culture has largely accepted the notion that form and content are not only distinguishable, but are largely unrelated. For this reason there has been a widespread tendency on the part of ministers in historical denominations to attempt to cloak their churches’ worship in more modern and youthful attire. If we grant the major premise that our historic, confessional theology can be communicated in whatever forms we happen to prefer, the...

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