From the Editor. I have been advocating sabbaticals for more than a decade. I was given my first one thirty-five years after my ordination—much too long to wait. I do not resent this because the Orthodox Presbyterian Church does not have a strong tradition of sabbaticals. I am very pleased to see that we are beginning to build such a tradition. It is critical to the health of our pastors and churches. David VanDrunen’s 2009 article, “Sabbaticals for Pastors,” in Ordained Servant marked the beginning of many more sabbaticals than we have ever had. I hope that the trend continues. A few years earlier Chad Van Dixhoorn’s article, “Taking Care of Your Pastor,” sparked interest in sabbaticals, since he encouraged them as an important ingredient in caring for pastors.

As you will see from Brett McNeill’s article, “My Sabbatical: One Pastor’s Experience,” resting is one of the most important benefits of a sabbatical. I made the mistake on my only sabbatical, late in my ministry, of spending the better part of my eighteen weeks writing a book. In retrospect that was a mistake. The list of other things I proposed to do was so long that many items remain undone. My 2009 article, “Changing Pace: The Need for Rest in a Frenetic World,” emphasized the need of rest, not as sleep, but as uncluttered time to think and reflect, the fuel for creativity that a fruitful pastorate requires. Be sure to read the three articles from our archives which I have just mentioned in “From the Archives” below.

Danny Olinger used a blank space in his life during the early Covid shutdowns to explore and write about the almost unknown writings of the late Meredith G. Kline on the book of Revelation. His “Introduction: The Writings of Meredith G. Kline on the Book of Revelation” is itself a revelation. This is a classic example of how the Lord can use trials and tribulations to bring about something beautiful. Olinger has resurrected Kline’s ThD thesis from the Montgomery Library at Westminster Theological Seminary. While in deep need of editing, it is also theologically brilliant. Olinger draws from published and unpublished works to weave the elaborate tapestry of Kline’s interpretation of Revelation. Ordained Servant Online will serialize the chapters of this fine work.

Alan Strange continues his illuminating “Commentary on the Form of Government of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church” with chapter 15 on “The Whole Church and Its General Assembly.”

William Davis’s review article, “The Importance of Biblical Anthropology,” reviews an important book on the meaning of human life, What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics, by O. Carter Snead. Davis demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of this book. Although Snead focuses on law and gives little biblical support for his thesis, Davis says his “treatment of abortion law and of our culture’s assumptions about what it means to be human make the book’s central argument worthy of careful attention, especially by Christian readers.”

Darryl Hart’s “Give Me Shelter and Give Me Answers,” reviews To Think Christianly, a thoughtful history of L’Abri, Regent College, and the Christian study center movement. Intelligent Christian education for lay people is an important ministry of the church. Having spent six months at L’Abri from 1971 to 1972, I can attest to the great value of such an institution.

Finally, I offer another ekphrastic poem, “Dappled Light,” based on a Claude Monet (1840–1926) painting in the Currier Museum of Art, “Seine on the Bougival,”(1869). Monet was the founder of French Impressionist painting in the nineteenth century. Impressionist plein air (painting outdoors) landscape painting emphasized the perception of the artist rather than a precise reproduction of a scene. However, since photography has been accepted as an art form, we have come to realize that it, like so-called realistic painting, is also from the perspective of the artist. Ekphrastic poetry accents the importance of this insight.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


Subject Index

  • “Sabbaticals for Pastors.” (David VanDrunen) 18 (2009): 93–97.
  • “Taking Care of Your Pastor.” (Chad Van Dixhoorn) 16 (2007): 47–50.
  • “Changing Pace: The Need for Rest in a Frenetic World.” (Gregory E. Reynolds) 18 (2009): 14–17.

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.

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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

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