June / July 2020
From the Editor. Several years ago, when I was in the Willow Grove offices of the OPC, I had a remarkable conversation with David Haney. He told me about the Obadiah Fund and his ideas about a committee on ministerial care. A few years later, after the Committee on Ministerial Care (CMC) was initiated by the general assembly, Matt Miner asked me if I would be interested in publishing something about the new committee in Ordained Servant. I have embraced the idea enthusiastically. As a journal for church officers, this is the best place for the CMC to explain various aspects of its very timely ministry and to pass on its wisdom and advice on various aspects of ministry. We begin this month with Matt Miner’s explanation of the new committee’s history, mandate, range of tasks, and future in “Introducing the Committee on Ministerial Care of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.”
Having studied the phenomena of electronically mediated church since 1990, when TV ministry was all the rage, and having been critical of many of the ways the church has used electronic media, I found that not only was the coronavirus novel, but so also was doing virtual church meetings each Lord’s Day. Experiencing almost two months of tuning in to virtual church presentations, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my reflections on the benefits and liabilities of such presentations in “Reflections on Virtual Church Meetings in the Time of Coronavirus.”
David Noe and Joseph Tipton give us the fifth and final portion of their translation of “Chrysostom’s Commentary on Galatians.” This lively commentary is given in its entirety.
Alan Strange continues his “Commentary on the Form of Government of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.” He is well qualified to write this commentary, having taught church polity at Mid-America Reformed Seminary for more than twenty years and the MTIOPC Form of Government Course for the OPC for more than a decade. He also received a Ph.D. in the study of ecclesiology and polity in the writings of Charles Hodge. Along with his service on the general assembly Committee on Appeals and Complaints since 1992, this commentary will be very useful to church officers. Eventually, it will be printed as a book along with a commentary on the Book of Discipline.
Richard Gamble reviews Thomas S. Kidd, Who Is an Evangelical? The History of a Movement in Crisis. Kidd examines evangelicalism as he knows it in light of recent shifts in voting patterns, especially the 2016 election.
T. David Gordon reviews The HTML of Cruciform Love: Toward a Theology of the Internet, edited by John Frederick and Eric Lewellen. My friend and fellow media ecologist highly recommends this compilation: “This collection consists of a thoughtful introduction and twelve insightful chapters by fourteen scholars from three continents.” Such theological reflection on the electronic environment from an orthodox Christian and a media savvy perspective is a rare find.
Charles Wingard reviews The Christian and Technology by John V. Fesko, a fine brief treatment of a topic that is germane to every Christian life.
Our poem this month is, again, a timely one, except that instead of a contemporary poet this poet—who was also a playwright—Thomas Nashe, lived through the 1592–93 bubonic plague in London. “In Time of Plague” is a poignant poem from a Christian perspective.
The cover pictures for this and the last two issues were taken by me in Zermatt, Switzerland and Chamonix, France. April was the Matterhorn from Zermatt, and May and June-July are taken from the French ski resort village of Chamonix.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “MINISTERIAL CARE, PERSONAL PRESENCE”
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.