From the Editor. Technology is always a mixed blessing as the creations and inventions of imperfect people. It is not only that good tools may be used in evil ways, but also that tools alter us in various ways, changing our perceptions and relationships for good or ill.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of medicine. Jan Dudt helps us wade through the complexities of the technology and ethics of reproductive technologies in his article “Reproductive Technologies: Blessing or Curse, Dilemmas for Christians.”

“Abuse: No Joke, No Myth” by Shane Lems addresses a problem in the church that few want to discuss. The ethical and spiritual seriousness of all kinds of abuse requires us not only to discuss it but also to face it with grace and truth. Those of us who confess the Bible’s teaching on the sinfulness of sin should be the first to do so. One of the very helpful books reviewed by Lems is Michael Kruger’s Bully Pulpit.[1] It recently received first place in the church and pastoral leadership category in the annual Christianity Today book awards.

In chapter 11 of The Voice of the Good Shepherd, “Remember Your Medium,” I look at the central importance of preaching as a natural medium unmediated by technology in the pastoral setting. I explore this medium with the three media metaphors: conduit, grammar, and environment—used by media ecologist Joshua Meyrowitz.[2] I also explore four types of preaching within Reformed circles and conclude with Robert Lewis Dabney’s “Seven Cardinal Requisites of Preaching.”

In “Redemption in Christ” Ryan McGraw reviews the fourth of seven volumes of seventeenth century theologian Peter van Mastricht’s monumental Theoretical-Practical Theology. “His scholastic precision and distinctions, constructive engagement with early church and medieval theology, and extensive practical application have become theological rarities in modern times.”

Charles Wingard reviews a superb new volume How to Read and Understand the Psalms by Bruce K. Waltke and Fred G. Zaspel. The authors masterfully “instruct readers about the structure of individual Psalms, explore their various forms, explain the arrangement of the Psalter’s five books, and offer suggestive outlines that will assist pastors and teachers in effectively communicating their message.”

I offer a very brief review of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in a category I have rarely used: Servant Classics. This is to whet your appetite for an edifying classic that may have been forgotten.

A reminder about the prices indicated in book reviews. I always use the list price. I leave it to readers to look for discounts. Oddly, most publishers now give discounts on their websites, but a wider web search is advisable.

My poem “We Have Waited for the Snow” is especially for snow lovers. It always reminds me of how the Lord views a redeemed sinner: “wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps. 51:7).

The cover is the view from the Klein Matterhorn (Little Matterhorn), the highest cable car station in Europe (3,883 m. or 12,739 ft.). On the summit viewing deck we were pleasantly surprised to see a plaque with this verse from the King James Bible: “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches” (Ps. 104:24), followed by this hymn stanza,

Father Almighty, wonderful Lord
Wondrous Creator, be ever adored;
Wonders of nature sing praises to You,
Wonder of wonders—I may praise too!

The same plaque is in the main lodge of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


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.


[1] Lems reviewed Bully Pulpit in New Horizons in August https://www.opc.org/review.html?review_id=928

[2] Joshua Meyrowitz, “Multiple Media Literacies.” Journal of Communication 48, no. 1 (winter 1998): 96–108.

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