From the Editor. Suicide is a growing problem throughout our nation and one to which the church is not immune. For Christians it is a sensitive subject because we know suicide is sin and is never looked at positively in the Bible; we also know that we should do everything in our power to prevent it. However some mistakenly believe that a believer can never commit suicide or that it is an unforgivable sin. Retired pastor and counselor Doug Felch, who has many decades of experience dealing with suicide as a counselor, presents a nuanced biblical assessment of suicide and provides wise advice on how to counsel someone considering suicide. Every church officer should read “Suicide Watch.”
David Noe and Joseph Tipton give us part 3 of “Chrysostom’s Commentary on Galatians.” This new translation offers a fascinating insight into the intellectual and spiritual mindset of ancient church history.
Alan Strange begins a “Commentary on the Form of Government of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.” His long experience on the general assembly Committee on Appeals and Complaints will make this commentary very useful to church officers. Eventually it will be printed as a book, along with a commentary on the Book of Discipline.
Carl Trueman’s review of J. V. Fesko’s The Trinity and the Covenant of Redemption reminds us how important these doctrines are, especially when they are related to each other. They are competently expounded and related in a very readable form.
Richard Gamble’s review of Peter C. Mancall, The Trials of Thomas Morton presents a compelling story of a very gifted man who had a vision of the New Israel of New England quite different from that of the Pilgrims and Puritans. While his ideas did not win the day he made a significant mark on the early history of that region.
David VanDrunen’s review of Ron Dart & J. I. Packer, Christianity and Pluralism, gives a brief insight into the present state of Anglicanism and the evangelicals within that divided fold.
The cover this month is a picture I took recently in February during the skiing day of a lifetime. On one day Robin and I, with our son Chris and his wife as guides, took two gondolas and a tram to Plateau Rosa Testa Grigia (11,417 ft.) and then skied around and past the Matterhorn, one of Machen’s favorite mountains (see “Mountains and Why We Love Them”), to Trackener Stag in German-speaking Switzerland. Robin and I took a gondola all the way into Zermatt. On the way I was able to take many pictures of the Matterhorn, one of which is the cover of OS this month. On the way back over to Italy we took a tram to the Klein Matterhorn, known as “Matterhorn Glacier Paradise” (12,840 ft.). On a plaque by the lookout Psalm 104:24 was quoted in the KJV: “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.” This was a very moving experience and reminds me of what David Winslow recounts in his wonderful feature article from mid-March titled “Fortieth Annual Backpacking Adventure: Mountains and Why We Still Love them.” In 1980 ruling elder Mac Laurie had the idea of getting young people in southern California out into mountains of the Sierra Nevada range with this reasoning, “Get them out of their comfort zone, get them away from the lights, the TV, the amenities, the music, the culture. Get them deep into the ‘book’ of general revelation where they can see and hear its voice in a new, fresh, and overpowering way! And you might be able to do some serious ministry with our presbytery’s young people.” That voice spoke loud and clear to us that day.
Don’t miss Henry Vaughan’s wonderful “Easter Hymn.”
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “SUICIDE”
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.