From the Editor. A quarter of a century. In today’s changing publication world that is a good run. I believe that the Lord has blessed our little journal with an extraordinary amount of human and divine resources. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). One of the subcommittee members overseeing the two periodicals published by the Committee on Christian Education told me that my greatest challenge as editor would be to find good writers willing to write for Ordained Servant. The variety of quality writers that the Lord has provided has been heartening. The editing from copy to proof to website, and then from copy to formatting for print to publication has been of a quality far beyond our size or budget.
Don’t miss the third chapter of Danny Olinger’s biography, “Geerhardus Vos: Professor at the Theological School in Grand Rapids.” Vos was a star of the first magnitude, a diamond of first water, who harnessed the biblical theological scholarship of his day in the bridle of Reformed theology.
Shane Lems identifies “Six Anti-Church Evangelical Trends.” If the church and its worship founded on a biblical ecclesiology is, as Calvin maintained in his treatise on the necessity of reforming the church, the means God has provided to implement the whole counsel of God, then Western Christendom is in a good deal of trouble. Lems identifies the disease for which a mighty cure is needed.
Arthur Fox’s review of The Reader’s Bible was an eye-opener for me. When he first asked me if I would publish a review of the six-volume set I was reluctant because it sounded like just another sales gimmick. It also sounded ridiculous—isn’t every Bible meant to be read? Now that I have looked carefully at my copy, I realize the uniqueness of this endeavor. This beautifully published set is hardbound, sewn signature, and on high quality paper. This enhances the value of the books. There are no chapter or verse markers. So even more ancient distractions have been removed to invite modern readers to pay attention to the text of God’s Word.
Jeffrey Waddington reviews a much anticipated, if somewhat disappointing, commentary on Romans by Richard Longenecker.
I review Larry Taunton’s encounter with a famous atheist in The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. The antagonism that the new atheists, like Hitchens, often evoke is predictable, but actually it ought to humble us Christians to befriend those who share their desperate negation. Taunton can help show us the way.
Finally, our Christmas poem, “I Syng of a Maiden,” is an ancient, anonymous, and lovely reflection on the wonder of the incarnation.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “CHURCH”
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews, we will endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.