The concept of “teenager” is an innovation in American culture since World War II. The youth culture that this demographic concept represents has become a dominant force in American society and thus, the church. Its presence has stimulated a variety of responses by the American church that are mixed in quality, which is to say varied in their faithfulness to biblical truth. Some of the serious negatives of youth culture in general have been uncritically incorporated in church youth ministries in mainline, evangelical, and even Reformed Protestant, as well as Roman Catholic, communions; and so unwittingly undermined these churches’ missions. Nathan Lambert, a licentiate who is the director of youth ministry at Pilgrim Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bangor, Maine, describes a healthy OPC youth ministry in “A Portrait of Youth Ministry.” In keeping with this theme, I offer a review, “The Apotheosis of Adolescence,” on Thomas Bergler’s ground-breaking work, The Juvenilization of American Christianity.
Alan Strange pays tribute to one of the great early leaders in the OPC, Arthur Kuschke. I still remember my first encounter with Mr. Kuschke as an incoming junior seminary student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 1976. He was introducing us to the library facility over which he presided. I thought, here is a man who is very serious about developing an intelligent articulation of the Reformed faith. His whole demeanor exuded this commitment. I am grateful to have known him.
Don’t miss the second of a three-part series by Robert Letham, “The Necessity of Preaching in the Modern World.” The concluding piece will appear next month.
One warm, sunny morning this summer I was happily surprised to see a very favorable review of Darryl Hart’s new book, Calvinism: A History, reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. John Fesko reviews it for OS this month.
David Booth reviews Robert Kolb’s latest offering, Luther and the Stories of God: Biblical Narratives as a Foundation for Christian Living.
John Muether reviews Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I hope this will help convince readers that being quiet is a personality type, not a disease.
This month’s poem is a secular poem by an Elizabethan master who excelled in both secular and sacred poetry—Robert Herrick. (His The White Island would be among his finest sacred poems.) On the topic of the fleeting glories of youth, this month’s poem is a beautifully rendered reminder of the brevity of youth and our mortality. The cover painting “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May” is by John William Waterhouse, and is based on Herrick’s poem.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “YOUTH MINISTRY”
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.