Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is the revivalist style of at least some members of the New Calvinism punctuated by constant references to Jonathan Edwards and the rise of charismatic Calvinism that has many Old School Presbyterians concerned. Piper side-stepped the main issue between the two camps: from an Old-School perspective the New Calvinism smacks of the evangelical revivalism of a D. L. Moody, or, more to the point, the baseball-player-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday (insert Mark Driscoll reference here). Sunday once called the novelist Sinclair Lewis “Satan’s cohort” in response to Lewis’s 1927 satirical novel Elmer Gantry, whose main character—a hypocritical evangelist—was modeled on Sunday’s flamboyant style.

That older coalition of Congregationalists, Baptists, and New School Presbyterians combined dispensationalism, celebrity revivalism, and fundamentalism—the very traits that Old School Presbyterians disliked then and now. It is not without some irony that Piper acknowledged the important role of Westminster Seminary while not even mentioning that it was the epicenter of Old School Presbyterianism with its anti-revivalist and cessationist stance (at the end of his lecture Piper got a laugh when he said, “you don’t even want to know my eschatology.” Indeed!).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptistsPresbyterianReformed* Theology

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Posted March 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed* Theology

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Posted March 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Question 45: What does the "resurrection" of Christ profit us?

Answer: First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.

Footnotes: [For "first"] 1 Cor.15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: Rom.4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 Pet.1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [for "secondly'] Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Col.3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Eph.2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph.2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [for "lastly"] 1 Cor.15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1 Cor.15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Cor.15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Rom.8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed

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Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At 6.15pm on Tuesday, February 7th the United Reformed Church and the Church of England will both participate in a Service of Reconciliation, Healing of Memories and Mutual Commitment at Westminster Abbey. The service marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Ejectment of 2,000 nonconforming ministers following the 1662 Act of Uniformity...

The historic service marks a significant step forward in the development of a closer working relationship between the two Churches. At the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury will preach and the Archbishop of York, together with Mrs Val Morrison and the Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe, moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, will lead a litany of penitence and act of commitment.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesReformed

10 Comments
Posted February 7, 2012 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seven influential megachurch pastors took part in live unscripted discussions on different approaches to ministry in the second round of The Elephant Room – an event billed as "conversations you never thought you'd hear" from pastors.

Held in Aurora, Ill., and broadcast to over 70 locations around the U.S., the discussions were mediated by James MacDonald of Chicago's Harvest Bible Chapel and Mark Driscoll of Seattle's Mars Hill Church.

With nondenominational churches growing across the county, the role of denominations and church networks was the first topic discussed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptistsDisciples of ChristEvangelicalsLutheranMethodistPentecostalPresbyterianReformed* TheologyEcclesiology

20 Comments
Posted January 27, 2012 at 8:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I share these two experiences alongside a comment I came across years ago: every church and every member of the clergy, over a span of time, needs to belong to a denomination. I serve as a district superintendent, and I am aware of the church's imperfections, and my own. I watch over 69 local churches and a few assorted institutions within our geographical boundaries, and we are at work on the development of a new church plant and the development of a missional church network. At any given time about 3-5 of these churches are in real crisis: they are in need of outside intervention, mediation, conflict resolution and spiritual guidance. A denomination, at its best, provides a framework for the protection of the clergy in a workplace and supervision of even the most powerful clergy leaders. In addition, a denomination works out the implications of a missional strategy in an area that is more nuanced than simply whatever the market can bear.

I share these experiences at a time when there is much rhetoric around moving energy, resources and attention to the local church. I love the local church. It is the basic context for the mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. At the same time, the local church will, on occasion, be stronger as it accomplishes mission that is beyond its own capacity, and as it is accountable to a wisdom that is outside its own day to day movements.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptistsDisciples of ChristLutheranMethodistPentecostalPresbyterianReformedRoman CatholicUnited Church of Christ* TheologyEcclesiologyPastoral Theology

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Posted October 17, 2011 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Doug De Vries describes Sunday evening worship as “a lot less formal” than the morning service at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church.

It’s also a lot less crowded.

Plymouth Heights is in step with a larger trend of declining evening attendance in evangelical denominations that long have cherished a heritage of worshiping twice on Sunday. Some evening services are more intimate; others have been cancelled or replaced by an alternative.

“It’s a business question that has been asked,” said De Vries, the church’s minister of music. “People are spending time with their family (on Sunday nights) or using that time to get together in small groups. We were concerned that we were squandering resources to put the evening service together.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed

1 Comments
Posted September 29, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My God, Father and Savior, since you have commanded us to work in order to meet our needs, sanctify our labor that it may bring nourishment to our souls as well as to our bodies.

Make us constantly aware that our efforts are worthless unless guided by your light and by your hand.

Make us faithful to the particular tasks for which you have bestowed upon us the necessary gifts, taking from us any envy or jealousy at the vocations of others.

Give us a good heart to supply the needs of the poor, saving us from any desire to exalt ourselves over those who receive our bounty.

And if you should call us into greater poverty than we humanly desire, save us from any spirit of defiance or resentment, but rather let us graciously and humbly receive the bounty of others.

Above all, may every temporal grace be matched by spiritual grace, that in both body and soul we may live to your glory.

--John Calvin

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed

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Posted September 6, 2010 at 8:27 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Snow falls resolutely on a Saturday morning in Washington, but the festively lit basement of a church near the US Capitol is packed. Some 200 female members have invited an equal number of women for tea, cookies, conversation – and 16th-century evangelism.

What newcomers at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) hear is hardly "Christianity for Dummies." Nor is it "Extreme Makeover: Born-Again Edition." Instead, a young woman named Kasey Gurley describes her disobedience and suffering in Old Testament terms.

"I worship my own comfort, my own opinion of myself," she confesses. "Like the idolatrous people of Judah, we deserve the full wrath of God." She warns the women that "we'll never be safe in good intentions," but assures them that "Christ died for us so we wouldn't have to." Her closing prayer is both frank and transcendent: "Our comfort in suffering is this: that through Christ you provide eternal life."

It is so quiet you can hear an oatmeal cookie crumble....

Today, [Calvin's] theology is making a surprising comeback, challenging the me-centered prosperity gospel of much of modern evangelicalism with a God-first immersion in Scripture.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsReformed* Theology

10 Comments
Posted March 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A self-proclaimed atheist can continue to serve as a local pastor of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, and will not be disciplined for his controversial position on how to describe God.

A special assembly of Zierikzee, a regional church body tasked with investigating the theological statements of Pastor Klaas Hendrikse, said on Feb. 3 that its work is completed.

The decision to allow Hendrikse to continue working as a pastor followed the advice of a panel that said the pastor’s views “are not of sufficient weight to damage the foundations of the church.”

“The ideas of Hendrikse are theologically not new, and are in keeping with the liberal tradition that is an integral part of our church,” the special panel concluded.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEuropeThe Netherlands* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformedOther FaithsAtheism

22 Comments
Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some surprises started unfolding when a team of Calvin Theological Seminary professors and graduate students recently launched the Post-Reformation Digital Library.

Chief eye-openers included successfully tracking down rare Reformed theologians’ manuscripts once thought lost.

Another revelation: 16th-18th century theologians and philosophers were brutally honest about their doctrinal positions and emotions, including the well-known Reformer John Calvin, who pushed the boundaries of good taste in a sermon about rowdy adolescents.

“We’ve got things coming out of the woodwork that (were) lost for centuries,” said Todd Rester, a doctoral student who served on the project’s six-member editorial board.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetBooks* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed

4 Comments
Posted January 26, 2010 at 6:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On a recent afternoon, stagehands prepared the Protestant meeting hall on the Place de la Fusterie for a musical, “The Calvin Generation,” to be performed there that evening. Springtime for Calvin?

Not quite. The religious reformer, best known for his doctrines about a depraved humanity and a harsh God predestining people to hell or heaven, would not dance or sing that night. But the show was one of a vast program of commemorations — theater, a film festival, conferences, exhibits, even specially concocted Calvinist wines and chocolates — described by some who have tasted them as somewhat bitter — of the birth of John Calvin 500 years ago.

“Our idea was to show Calvin so that people could see his personality in the richness of his thought and activities,” said Roland Benz, 66, the Calvin Jubilee chairman, as he watched workers preparing the stage, lights and costumes.

Read the whole article.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeSwitzerland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed

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Posted November 6, 2009 at 12:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like most 24-year-old men, Stephen Jones is keenly interested in sin. But while many of his peers enjoy their youthful indiscretions, Jones takes a more, shall we say, Puritanical stand.

Last weekend (June 12-15), Jones and 4,000 other young Christians packed into a convention center in Palm Springs, Calif., to hear preachers tell them that they are totally depraved, incapable of doing the right thing without a mighty hand from God, and -- most importantly
-- have absolutely no control over their eternal fate.

The mind behind that message is John Calvin, the 16th-century Reformer often better known for condemning sinners and heretics than for igniting evangelical zeal. But as Presbyterian and other Reformed churches prepare for the 500th birthday of their spiritual godfather on July 10, increasingly, it is young American evangelicals who are taking up his theological torch.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianReformed

9 Comments
Posted June 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the first time in 390 years, the Reformed Church in America has a confession to make.

The Belhar Confession, a declaration of human unity, justice and reconciliation that was drafted in 1982 by Reformed churches in apartheid-era South Africa, will be up for approval at the RCA’s June 4-9 General Synod here.

Some in the 166,000-member RCA say the confession speaks to the church’s need to become more diverse as it pursues growth goals. But the Belhar’s text also might speak to an ongoing debate about homosexuality, which is back on the Synod’s agenda for the first time since 2006.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformedSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

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Posted June 4, 2009 at 7:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Question 45. What does the "resurrection" of Christ profit us?

Answer: First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; (a) secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; (b) and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection. (c)

(a) 1 Cor.15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: Rom.4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 Pet.1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (b) Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Col.3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Eph.2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph.2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (c) 1 Cor.15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1 Cor.15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Cor.15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Rom.8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed

1 Comments
Posted April 13, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Question 153: What does God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?

Answer: That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requires of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.

Question 154: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?

Answer: The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation.

--The Westminster Larger Catechism, and worth keeping min mind I think as Lent approaches in 2009

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed* TheologySacramental Theology

5 Comments
Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Question 81. For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?

Answer: For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves. (a)

(a) 1 Cor.10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 1 Cor.10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 1 Cor.10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 1 Cor.10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 1 Cor.11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 1 Cor.11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Question 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?

Answer: No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath kindled against the whole congregation; (a) therefore it is the duty of the christian church, according to the appointment of Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.

(a) 1 Cor.11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 1 Cor.11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. Isa.1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. Isa.1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Isa.1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Isa.1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. Isa.1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Isa.66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. Jer.7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. Jer.7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: Jer.7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. Ps.50:16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

--The Heidelberg Catechism

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed* TheologySacramental TheologyEucharist

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Posted December 31, 2008 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Question 45. What does the "resurrection" of Christ profit us?

Answer: First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; (a) secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; (b) and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection. (c)

(a) 1 Cor.15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: Rom.4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 Pet.1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (b) Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Col.3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Eph.2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph.2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (c) 1 Cor.15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1 Cor.15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Cor.15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Rom.8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

--The Heidelberg Catechism



Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesReformed* TheologyEschatology

4 Comments
Posted March 31, 2008 at 9:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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