August / September 2014
From the Editor. Ordained Servant has never done summer reading suggestions, but unintentionally this issue provides lots of possibilities, even though we’re half way through the summer, beginning with John Shaw’s excellent article on the OPC and urban missions. His first footnote gives a list of five recent books on urban church planting. I can still remember Ross Graham, years ago at the annual home missions conference, calling for an urban missions initiative. It is certainly a great need in the OPC and I suspect in NAPARC churches as well. This is the work of several generations. Something worthy of our fervent prayers, personal help, and generous financial support. John Shaw’s article is programmatic, and thus a good place to begin.
This issue we have two review articles. John Muether reviews two books of sociology, which examine the transmission of faith in families, in “Getting or Not Getting Religion.” Several major pieces of conventional wisdom about teenagers are turned on their heads. Meredith M. Kline, bringing rich insight on a biblical book that has occupied his thinking for decades, reviews a new popular commentary on Ecclesiastes.
Three reviews follow. Carl Trueman reviews David Wells’s latest book, God in the Whirlwind. This is another Wells tour de force, bringing theology—the doctrine of God—to bear on the situation of the conservative American evangelicalism in modernity. In this book he goes beyond analysis and critique to give direction to the church. David Booth looks at student articles exploring the relationship between Christ and culture from a Neo-Calvinist perspective in The Kuyper Center Review, Volume Three. Mark Debowski looks at a new book on preaching with the provocative title Saving Eutychus. The two authors bring much experience to their critical examination of each other’s sermons, all in the laudable interest of keeping worshippers awake.
Finally, our poem this issue is a hymn written by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 72. The original had eleven verses, more than twice the number in The Trinity Hymnal, as well as most other hymnals. Those were days of the heartiest Calvinist worshippers. Those were also the days when people made their own music, instead of having it made for us. Teaching God’s people to sing well will be a great challenge in the decades to come.
FROM THE ARCHIVES “MISSIONS”
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 endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.