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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New Passover for a New Exodus

New Passover for a New Exodus

Continuing our series on the Eucharist, Catholics understand Jesus to be a new Moses, and what kind of new Moses would he be if he did not inaugurate a new Exodus? And of course, what was it that launched the first Exodus but the celebration of the Passover? A new Exodus under the leadership of a new Moses, then, calls for a new Passover to kick things off. St. Paul clearly understood this typology. He wrote to the Corinthians in his first...

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Movement of Jah People

“The number of people who have left the Catholic Church is huge.” So begins Thomas Reese in his article for the National Catholic Reporter titled “The Hidden Exodus: Catholics Becoming Protestants.” According to a Pew Research Center report, one out of every ten Americans is an ex-Catholic, meaning that if all the ex-Catholics in this country formed their own church, it would constitute the third largest denomination in the United...

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On the Regulative Principle and the Ipsissima Verba of Scripture

There has been a great online dialogue going on between Scott Clark and Lane Keister on the issue of whether Scripture alone may be used in public worship, or whether paraphrases and extra-biblical material may also be incorporated. Clark argues the former position, insisting that it is wrong to sing non-canonical hymns or to recite non-canonical creeds in worship, while Lane is challenging that position, arguing that even the metrical psalms...

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On Relevance, Part 4: Reformed Is Not a State of Mind

Here is the conclusion of my article, “Desperately Seeking Relevance”: The beauty of Reformed ecclesiology is in danger of being lost by a contemporary ministry that is desperately seeking relevance, all the while remaining oblivious to the relevance that inheres in the gospel it already possesses. Any attempt to cater the eternal gospel to a specific target audience or niche market may be successful, but it is the kind of success...

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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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